Circulating IgG antibodies to periodontal bacteria and lung cancer risk in the CLUE cohorts

Thumbnail Image
Penn collection
School of Dental Medicine::Departmental Papers (Dental)
Degree type
cancer; follow-up; periodontitis; antibodies; bacteria; lung cancer; pathogenic organism; igg antibody
Grant number
Copyright date
Related resources
Nana K. Ampomah, MPH; Flavia Teles, DDS; Lynn M. Martin, BS; Jiayun Lu, PhD; Devin C. Koestler, PhD;Karl T. Kelsey , MD;James D. Beck, PhD; Elizabeth A. Platz , ScD; Dominique S. Michaud , ScD

Background Oral health is a key indicator of overall health, well-being, and quality of life. Several studies have provided new evidence about the role of oral diseases, specifically periodontitis, in generating risk for various forms of cancers, including lung, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers.

Methods Incident lung cancer cases (n = 192) and matched controls (n = 192) were selected from participants of the CLUE I and CLUE II cohorts. Archived serum samples collected from participants in 1974 (in CLUE I) were analyzed using immunoblotting for immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody levels to 13 bacteria of the periodontium. Associations between antibody levels and lung cancer were estimated using conditional logistic regression.

Results Most of the periodontal bacterial antibodies measured were inversely associated with lung cancer risk; of these, 3 were statistically significant (Prevotellaintermedia, Actinomyces naeslundii, and Veillonella parvula). A statistically significant positive association was observed for one of the Porphyromonas gingivalis strains after adjusting for P. intermedia. The sum of the logarithm of antibodies against the 13 measured bacteria was inversely associated with risk of lung cancer when the analysis was restricted to a longer follow-up (31-44 years after blood collection, highest vs lowest quartile: odds ratio = 0.26, 95% confidence interval = 0.08 to 0.84).

Conclusions Findings from this study highlight the complexity of using serum IgG antibodies to periodontal bacteria to identify associations between oral pathogens and risk of lung cancer. The inverse associations observed for antibodies to periodontal bacteria suggest that these may represent markers of immunity that provide some advantage in reducing the development of lung cancer.

Date Range for Data Collection (Start Date)
Date Range for Data Collection (End Date)
Digital Object Identifier
Series name and number
Publication date
Journal title
JNCI Cancer Spectrum
Volume number
Issue number
Oxford University Press
Journal Issue
Recommended citation