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Fusobacterium plays an important part in the treatment of oral cancer.

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Peeyush Ghalot
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(Image Courtesy: - Homage)

To measure the presence of human papillomavirus, the team at ACTREC-Tata Memorial Centre created HPV Detector, an automated computational tool that is very sensitive and specific. This was accomplished by removing human sequences from the cancer genome and comparing the remaining sequences to the HPV genome in order to detect the existence of HPV sequence traces and determine the range of all co-infecting HPV strains in the same individual. Cervical cancer had a high prevalence of HPV 16, 18, and 31, among other viruses, according to the study. However, Indian individuals with oral tumours that had a specific tobacco usage gene signature were found to be free of HPV infection. This was in stark contrast to oral tumours in Caucasian individuals, where the tobacco genetic profile is rare but defined by the presence of HPV. Fusobacterium nucleatum is known to play an important role in colorectal cancer, where its presence influences disease progression and the patient's response to chemotherapy. Previously, however, there was no knowledge of Fusobacterium's function in oral cancer. The bacteria were detected in both Indian and Caucasian oral cancer patients, with the Indian patients having a substantially greater incidence. While oral cancers in the West are more likely to be caused by HPV infection with a lower prevalence of Fusobacterium infection, oral cancers in India are more likely to be caused by Fusobacterium infection. Cancer can be prevented by immunizing against infectious agents, such as HPV, which has been shown to be effective in up to 90% of HPV-related cancers. The study emphasizes the function of Fusobacterium infection in regulating conventional chemotherapy treatment or disease recurrence in oral cancer patients, which is similar to its involvement in colorectal cancer patients.

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