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Pathogens 2016, 5(1), 6; doi:10.3390/pathogens5010006

How Chemotherapy Increases the Risk of Systemic Candidiasis in Cancer Patients: Current Paradigm and Future Directions

1,2
and
1,2,*
1
Singapore Immunology Network, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), 8A Biomedical Grove, Immunos Building, Singapore 138648, Singapore
2
School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, 60 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637551, Singapore
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sarah Gaffen
Received: 21 December 2015 / Revised: 8 January 2016 / Accepted: 11 January 2016 / Published: 15 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Candida Albicans Infections)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [704 KB, uploaded 18 January 2016]   |  

Abstract

Candida albicans is a fungal commensal and a major colonizer of the human skin, as well as of the gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts. It is also one of the leading causes of opportunistic microbial infections in cancer patients, often presenting in a life-threatening, systemic form. Increased susceptibility to such infections in cancer patients is attributed primarily to chemotherapy-induced depression of innate immune cells and weakened epithelial barriers, which are the body’s first-line defenses against fungal infections. Moreover, classical chemotherapeutic agents also have a detrimental effect on components of the adaptive immune system, which further play important roles in the antifungal response. In this review, we discuss the current paradigm regarding the mechanisms behind the increased risk of systemic candidiasis in cancer patients. We also highlight some recent findings, which suggest that chemotherapy may have more extensive effects beyond the human host, in particular towards C. albicans itself and the bacterial microbiota. The extent to which these additional effects contribute towards the development of candidiasis in chemotherapy-treated patients remains to be investigated. View Full-Text
Keywords: chemotherapy; cancer; Candida albicans; immune system; microbiota chemotherapy; cancer; Candida albicans; immune system; microbiota
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Teoh, F.; Pavelka, N. How Chemotherapy Increases the Risk of Systemic Candidiasis in Cancer Patients: Current Paradigm and Future Directions. Pathogens 2016, 5, 6.

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