West China Journal of Stomatology ›› 2020, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (4): 431-437.doi: 10.7518/hxkq.2020.04.014

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Research progress of Candida albicans on malignant transformation of oral mucosal diseases

Liao Min(), Cheng Lei, Zhou Xuedong, Ren Biao()   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases & National Clinical Research Center for Oral Diseases & Dept. of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, West China Hospital of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China
  • Received:2019-01-07 Revised:2020-05-19 Online:2020-08-01 Published:2020-08-03
  • Contact: Ren Biao E-mail:renbiao@scu.edu.cn
  • Supported by:
    The National Natural Science Foundation of China(81870778)


Oral cancer is the most common malignant tumor in the head and neck, and is one of the world’s top ten malignancies. Microbial infection is an important risk factor of oral cancer. Candida albicans is the most popular opportunistic fungal pathogen. Epidemiological studies have shown that Candida albicans is closely tied to oral malignancy. Animal experimentation have also proven that infection of Candida albicans can promote the development of oral epithelial carcinogenesis. The current studies have revealed several mechanisms involved in this process, including destroying the epithelial barrier, producing carcinogenic substances (nitrosamines, acetaldehyde), inducing chronic inflammation, activating immune response, etc. However, current researches on mechanisms are still inadequate, and some hypotheses remain controversial. Here, we review the findings related to Candida albicans’ effect on the malignant transformation of oral mucosa, hoping to provide reference for deep research and controlling oral cancer clinically.

Key words: Candida albicans, oral cancer, nitrosamines, acetaldehyde, inflammation, interleukin-17

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