The Cancer Hygiene Hypothesis: From Theory to Therapeutic Helminths

Author(s): Ruben Fernandes, Helena Alves, Monica C. Botelho*

Journal Name: Current Cancer Therapy Reviews

Volume 15 , Issue 3 , 2019

Become EABM
Become Reviewer

Graphical Abstract:


Abstract:

Background: The “Hygiene Hypothesis” was postulated by David Strachan in 1989 to explain for the rapid 20th century increase in allergic diseases such as asthma. In this hypothesis, children from developed countries living in ultra-hygienic environments and avoiding exposure to viruses, bacteria, and parasites, especially helminthes, have an increased risk of atopic disorders.

Materials & Methods: Research and online content related to cancer hygiene hypothesis is highlighted and to illustrate key themes. Guidelines for meaningful participation in DOC activities for people with diabetes, families, health care providers, and industry are provided.

Results: The lack of worms leads to failure of stimulation of mucosal Th2 responses. These infections exert their effect through critically altering T-helper (Th)1/Th2 regulation, and it is postulated that, thus, they protect against atopy and asthma, through the induction of Th1 regulatory response. It is now also recognized that this “hygiene hypothesis” concept applies to a wider range of chronic inflammatory diseases than atopy and asthma, such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis and cancer.

Conclusion: Here we discuss the major implications of these findings for the association between microorganisms and cancer, and also between some immune pathologies, like autoimmune diseases, and cancer.

Keywords: Hygiene hypothesis, cancer, parasites, helminths, anticarcinogenic effects, infection.

[1]
Strachan DP. Hay fever, hygiene, and household size. BMJ 1989; 229(6710): 1259-60.
[2]
Finlay CM, Walsh KP, Mills KH. Induction of regulatory cells by helminth parasites: Exploitation for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Immunol Rev 2014; 259(1): 206-30.
[3]
Cardoso R, Alves H, Richter J, Botelho MC. Parasites in forensic science: A historic perspective. Ann Parasitol 2017; 63(4): 235-41.
[4]
Boshoff C, Weiss R. AIDS-related malignancies. Nat Rev Cancer 2002; 2: 373-82.
[5]
Moon EJ, Jeong CH, Jeong JW, et al. Hepatitis B virus X protein induces angiogenesis by stabilizing hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha. FASEB J 2004; 18: 382-4.
[6]
Botelho MC, Ribeiro R, Vale N, et al. Inactivation of estrogen receptor by Schistosoma haematobium total antigen in bladder urothelial cells. Oncol Rep 2012; 27: 356-62.
[7]
Botelho MC, Alves H, Barros A, Rinaldi G, Brindley PJ, Sousa M. The role of estrogens and estrogen receptor signaling pathways in cancer and infertility: The case of schistosomes. Trends Parasitol 2015; 31: 246-50.
[8]
Oikonomopoulou K, Brinc D, Kyriacou K, Diamandis EP. Infection and cancer: Revaluation of the hygiene hypothesis. Clin Cancer Res 2013; 19: 2834-41.
[9]
Ferreira S, Fernandes R, Alves H, Richter J, Botelho MC. Anti-cancer potential of Fasciola hepatica extracts. Trop Med Int Health 2017; 22: 124.
[10]
Ferreira S, Fernandes R, Botelho MC. Fasciola hepatica extract induces cell death of mammalian cells. Antiinfect Agents 2018; 16: 144-6.
[11]
Ranasinghe S, McManus DP. Echinococcus granulosus: Cure for cancer revisited. Front Med 2018; 5: 60.


Rights & PermissionsPrintExport Cite as

Article Details

VOLUME: 15
ISSUE: 3
Year: 2019
Page: [248 - 250]
Pages: 3
DOI: 10.2174/1573394714666181003143717
Price: $65

Article Metrics

PDF: 21
HTML: 2
EPUB: 1
PRC: 1