Infectious diseases cause more than 20% of cancers in the developing world . About a dozen pathogens including Epstein-Barr virus and human T cell lymphocytotropic virus 1 are among the well-known examples. In addition, infection with several trematodes, which are eukaryotes, can cause malignancy. The International Agency for Research on Cancer categorizes infection with the fish-borne trematodes Opisthorchis viverrini and Clonorchis sinensis and the blood fluke Schistosoma haematobium as Group 1 biological carcinogens . In addition to parasitism directly damaging development, health, and prosperity of infected populations, infection with these helminths leads to cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) (bile duct cancer) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the urinary bladder, respectively . By contrast, infection with phylogenetic relatives, also trematodes of the phylum Platyhelminthes and also major pathogens, is not carcinogenic. These irregularities suggest that either helminth-specific metabolites contribute to tumorigenesis and/or that certain tissues or organs are particularly susceptible to infection-induced malignancy. Moreover, each of these helminth infections must be viewed holistically in the context of a perfect storm of risk for cancer (see ).
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Brindley, P., & Loukas, A. (2017). Helminth Infection-Induced Malignancy.. PLoS Pathogens, 13 (7). http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1006393