Tumor targeting by Fusobacterium nucleatum: A Pilot Study and future Perspectives

Jawad Abed, Naseem Maalouf, Lishay Parhi, Stella Chaushu, Ofer Mandelboim, Gilad Bachrach*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Colorectal adenocarcinoma (CRC) is a common tumor with high mortality rates. Interestingly, CRC was found to be colonized by the oral anaerobic bacteria Fusobacterium nucleatum, which accelerates tumor progression and enables immune evasion. The CRC-specific colonization by fusobacteria is mediated through the recognition of tumor displayed Gal-GalNAc moieties by the fusobacterial Fap2 Gal-GalNAc lectin. Here, we show high Gal-GalNAc levels in additional adenocarcinomas including those found in the stomach, prostate, ovary, colon, uterus, pancreas, breast, lung, and esophagus. This observation coincides with recent reports that found fusobacterial DNA in some of these tumors. Given the tumorigenic role of fusobacteria and its immune evasion properties, we suggest that fusobacterial elimination might improve treatment outcome of the above tumors. Furthermore, as fusobacteria appears to specifically home-in to Gal-GalNAc-displaying tumors, it might be engineered as a platform for treating CRC and the above common, lethal, adenocarcinomas.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number295
JournalFrontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
Issue numberJUN
StatePublished - 30 Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Abed, Maalouf, Parhi, Chaushu, Mandelboim and Bachrach.


  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Bacterioncology
  • Cancer
  • Fusobacterium nucleatum
  • Gal-GalNAc


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