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Hypothesis

Autophagy: The Potential Link between SARS-CoV-2 and Cancer

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Research Center for Health Sciences, Institute of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz 71348-14336, Iran
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Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology, University of Turin, Via Accademia, Albertina, 13, 10123 Torino, Italy
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IIGM-Italian Institute for Genomic Medicine, c/o IRCCS, Candiolo, 10126 Torino, Italy
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Candiolo Cancer Institute, FPO-IRCCS, 10060 Torino, Italy
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Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Science, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3E 0J9, Canada
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Biotechnology Center, Silesian University of Technology, 44-100 Gliwice, Poland
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Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
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Research Institute of Oncology and Hematology, Cancer Care Manitoba, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3E 0V9, Canada
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Faculty of Medicine, Katowice School of Technology, ul. Rolna 43, 40-555 Katowice, Poland
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Maria Dalamaga, Narjes Nasiri-Ansari and Nikolaos Spyrou
Cancers 2021, 13(22), 5721; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13225721
Received: 27 October 2021 / Revised: 11 November 2021 / Accepted: 14 November 2021 / Published: 16 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenges of COVID-19 with Obesity-Related Cancers)
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has led to a global crisis. With the increasing number of individuals infected worldwide, the long-term consequences of this disease have become an active area of research. The constellation of symptoms COVID-19 survivors suffer from is commonly referred to as post-acute COVID-19 syndrome in the scientific literature. In this paper, we discuss the potential long-term complications of this infection resulting from the persistence of the viral particles in body tissues interacting with host cells’ autophagy machinery in the context of the development of cancer, cancer progression and metastasis, as well as response to treatment. We also propose a structured framework for future studies to investigate the potential impact of COVID-19 infection on cancer.
COVID-19 infection survivors suffer from a constellation of symptoms referred to as post-acute COVID-19 syndrome. However, in the wake of recent evidence highlighting the long-term persistence of SARS-CoV-2 antigens in tissues and emerging information regarding the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 proteins and various components of the host cell macroautophagy/autophagy machinery, the unforeseen long-term consequences of this infection, such as increased risk of malignancies, should be explored. Although SARS-CoV-2 is not considered an oncogenic virus, the possibility of increased risk of cancer among COVID-19 survivors cannot be ruled out. Herein, we provide an overview of the possible mechanisms leading to cancer development, particularly obesity-related cancers (e.g., colorectal cancer), resulting from defects in autophagy and the blockade of the autophagic flux, and also immune escape in COVID-19 survivors. We also highlight the potential long-term implications of COVID-19 infection in the prognosis of patients with cancer and their response to different cancer treatments. Finally, we consider future directions for further investigations on this matter. View Full-Text
Keywords: colorectal neoplasms; COVID-19; gastrointestinal neoplasms; immune checkpoint inhibitors; neoplasms; oncogenic viruses; oncolytic virotherapy; post-acute COVID-19 syndrome; reactive oxygen species; tumor escape colorectal neoplasms; COVID-19; gastrointestinal neoplasms; immune checkpoint inhibitors; neoplasms; oncogenic viruses; oncolytic virotherapy; post-acute COVID-19 syndrome; reactive oxygen species; tumor escape
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MDPI and ACS Style

Habibzadeh, P.; Dastsooz, H.; Eshraghi, M.; Łos, M.J.; Klionsky, D.J.; Ghavami, S. Autophagy: The Potential Link between SARS-CoV-2 and Cancer. Cancers 2021, 13, 5721. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13225721

AMA Style

Habibzadeh P, Dastsooz H, Eshraghi M, Łos MJ, Klionsky DJ, Ghavami S. Autophagy: The Potential Link between SARS-CoV-2 and Cancer. Cancers. 2021; 13(22):5721. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13225721

Chicago/Turabian Style

Habibzadeh, Parham, Hassan Dastsooz, Mehdi Eshraghi, Marek J. Łos, Daniel J. Klionsky, and Saeid Ghavami. 2021. "Autophagy: The Potential Link between SARS-CoV-2 and Cancer" Cancers 13, no. 22: 5721. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13225721

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