Porphyromonas gingivalis, a bridge between oral health and immune evasion in gastric cancer

Matías Muñoz-Medel, Mauricio P. Pinto, Lauren Goralsky, Mónica Cáceres, Franz Villarroel-Espíndola, Patricio Manque, Andrés Pinto, Benjamin Garcia-Bloj, Tomas de Mayo, Juan A. Godoy, Marcelo Garrido, Ignacio N. Retamal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis) is a gram-negative oral pathogen associated with chronic periodontitis. Previous studies have linked poor oral health and periodontitis with oral cancer. Severe cases of periodontal disease can result in advanced periodontitis, leading to tissue degradation, tooth loss, and may also correlate with higher gastric cancer (GC) risk. In fact, tooth loss is associated with an elevated risk of cancer. However, the clinical evidence for this association remains inconclusive. Periodontitis is also characterized by chronic inflammation and upregulation of members of the Programmed Death 1/PD1 Ligand 1 (PD1/PDL1) axis that leads to an immunosuppressive state. Given that chronic inflammation and immunosuppression are conditions that facilitate cancer progression and carcinogenesis, we hypothesize that oral P. gingivalis and/or its virulence factors serve as a mechanistic link between oral health and gastric carcinogenesis/GC progression. We also discuss the potential impact of P. gingivalis’ virulence factors (gingipains, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and fimbriae) on inflammation and the response to immune checkpoint inhibitors in GC which are part of the current standard of care for advanced stage patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1403089
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
StatePublished - 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2024 Muñoz-Medel, Pinto, Goralsky, Cáceres, Villarroel-Espíndola, Manque, Pinto, Garcia-Bloj, de Mayo, Godoy, Garrido and Retamal.


  • gastric cancer
  • microbiome
  • P. gingivalis
  • PD1/PDL1 axis


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