Table 1

Classification of microbe-induced human malignancies

Microbe(s)Examples of malignancies by class
HHV-81Kaposi's sarcoma
HIVLymphomaKaposi's sarcoma
Hepatitis BHepatocellular carcinoma
Hepatitis CLymphomaHepatocellular carcinoma
H. pyloriMALT gastric lymphomaGastric adenocarcinoma[Esophageal adenocarcinoma]*
HPVAnogenital carcinomas, oropharyngeal carcinoma
Schistosomal speciesBladder cancer
Liver flukesCholangiocarcinoma
Hypothesized scenarios: microbiome[Breast, endometrial carcinomas]
ΔMicrobiome[Testicular adenocarcinoma]
MicrobiomeColon adenocarcinoma

Abbreviations: ATL, adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma; HHV-8, human herpesvirus 8; HTLV-1, human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1; MALT, mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue.

  • *Brackets indicate that the presence of a specific microbe (e.g., H. pylori) or as yet unidentified member(s) of the microbiome may either inhibit or promote the development of the bracketed malignancy.

  • In addition to metabolic activities of normal members, changes (Δ) in the microbiome also may account for some cancers.