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Do fungi play a role in the aetiology of cancer?

Wainwright, Milton

Reviews in Medical Microbiology: January 2002 - Volume 13 - Issue 1 - p 37-42
Mycology And Cancer
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The recent recognition that the bacterium Helicobacter pylori potentially plays a role in the aetiology of gastric cancer has highlighted the possibility that other non-virus microorganisms, including yeasts and filamentous fungi, may also cause cancer in humans. For more than a century fungi have been implicated in the aetiology of cancer. Initially, attention was directed to yeasts in the so-called blastomycete-theory of cancer; more recently filamentous fungi have also been implicated in carcinogenesis, based largely on their ability to produce potentially carcinogenic mycotoxins. Here, the widely spread literature on the role of fungi in carcinogenesis is reviewed in the hope that it will stimulate a re-evaluation of the potential carcinogenic role of fungi.

Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield, UK

Address for correspondence: Dr M. Wainwright, Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK. E-mail: m.wainwright@sheffield.ac.uk

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.