Mycoplasmas and Curing Cancer: Early Detection Can Increase Success Rate

In 2022, the American Cancer Society estimated around 1.9 million new cancer cases in the United States.

While research experts like you conduct many clinical trials and employ the latest diagnostic tools, curing cancer is still a substantial challenge.

Reaching your research milestone while dealing with products and services that systematize solutions and keep costs down is no easy feat. Among the challenging aspects of cancer treatment is early detection and the potential of microorganisms like mycoplasmas to cause this disease.

How important is the outcome of mycoplasma detection in your research and the clinical fields? What is the relationship between mycoplasma and curing cancer?

This article explains the significance of mycoplasma detection when applied to research and clinical fields. It also explores the relationship between these microorganisms and cancer treatment to help you find solutions in your life sciences research and drug development.

The Importance of Mycoplasma Detection in the Research and Clinical Fields

The quality of mycoplasma detection outcomes can determine whether your research findings are reliable. Better reliability can translate to more confidence when you apply it in the clinical field.

Understanding the relationship between mycoplasmas and cancer can help researchers like you find effective ways to treat cancer, from common ones like lung, breast, and prostate cancer to rare ones like mesothelioma in any of its four stages.

After early reports suggested a potential relationship between mycoplasmas and cancer, scientists have conducted numerous experiments determining whether these bacteria have cancer-causing effects.

Human Lung Carcinoma

One study mentioned that mycoplasmas present in the host could lower the sensitivity of human lung carcinoma cells to nutlin-3. This small molecule inhibitor can exert antitumor activity.

This finding suggests that the presence or absence of mycoplasmas can affect the effectiveness of anticancer drugs.

Thus, early and accurate detection of mycoplasmas in the body is essential for physicians to determine the appropriate drug or treatment to administer to their cancer patients.

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

Studies have shown that macrophages are more likely to protect chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) cells from natural killer cells when mycoplasma has infected CML cells.

Macrophages are white blood cells that kill microorganisms, remove dead cells, and stimulate immune system cell action.

The study’s results suggested that infection-induced inflammation caused by mycoplasmas may contribute to cancer progression by repressing the activity of natural killer cells.

If you’re looking into practical ways to manage or treat CML, consider the possibility of mycoplasma infection since mycoplasma can affect how the body fights cancer cells.

Through early mycoplasma detection and CML diagnosis, physicians can become more informed of what therapy, medication, or treatment may be more effective in curing CML.

Prostate Cancer

Several studies from 2011 to 2020 investigated the relationship between mycoplasma and prostate cancer.

In these studies, various methods like RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) and ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) detected the presence of mycoplasma in the subjects.

The results suggest that there may be a connection between prostate cancer and mycoplasma infection.

Despite these studies’ exciting and persuasive data, some lacked statistical or experimental evidence. This shortfall constitutes a limiting factor in approving mycoplasmas’ role in prostate cancer.

In other words, if you’re examining the relationship between mycoplasma and prostate cancer, you must conduct further trials to know the validity of the microorganism’s role in this disease.

Gastric Cancer

Researchers also conducted studies on gastric cancer and mycoplasma infection. Malignant stomach cell transformation is among the most frequently occurring cancers worldwide.

Results indicated frequent detection of Mycoplasma hyorhinis, one of several mycoplasma species, in gastric cancer patients.

One of these studies showed that 50 of 90 gastric cancer patients, or 56%, had mycoplasma infections. Other studies reported much higher detection rates, with one achieving 63.9%.

These results suggest a high likelihood that mycoplasmas may have a role in the occurrence of gastric cancer. Therefore, researchers conducting gastric cancer studies should consider mycoplasmas as a significant factor in the disease.

Ovarian Cancer

Researchers have also detected mycoplasma in some cases of ovarian cancer. One study showed that out of 27 cases of malignant ovarian cancer, 59.3% had mycoplasma.

Other studies had low detection rates. One study showed mycoplasma presence in 4 of 29 ovarian cancer cases (13.8%). Another study detected the microorganism in only 6 of 46 DNA samples (13%).

With these low and inconsistent detection rates and the contaminating nature of the identified mycoplasma species, the authors said these results are insufficient to confirm any connection between this microorganism and ovarian cancer.

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is among the most commonly diagnosed cancers, together with breast cancer, and one of the primary causes of death among women. A few studies on cervical cancer showed significant detection rates for mycoplasma.

In one study, 51.4% of 134 women with cervical cancer had a bacterial infection, with 34% of the subjects infected with Mycoplasma hominis and 2.3% with Mycoplasma genitalium.

Additionally, M. hominis and M. genitalium had higher prevalence among women with HPV (human papillomavirus) and HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).

Because mycoplasmas often exist in the cervical microbiome, they have caught the attention of scientists who detected these microorganisms in women with cervical cancer.

These figures suggest that researchers interested in conducting cervical cancer trials shouldn’t discount the possibility of mycoplasma infection in addition to other bacterial or viral causes.

Other Cases

Other studies involving other cancer types also yielded mycoplasma presence in numerous subjects. One study, in particular, detected mycoplasma in the following cases:

  • Colon cancer: 32 of 58 cases (55.1%)
  • Breast cancer: 25 of 63 cases (39.7%)
  • Lung cancer: 31 of 59 cases (52.6%)
  • Esophageal cancer: 27 of 53 cases (50.9%)
  • Glioma (brain tumor): 38 of 91 cases (41%)

The high prevalence of mycoplasma in these cancers should be a consideration among researchers to include the presence of this microorganism when performing cancer trials.

But given that these results came from one study, scientists should also consider conducting further research on the relationship between mycoplasma and these cancers.

How Are Mycoplasmas Related to Cancer Treatment?

Several studies have looked into the relationship between mycoplasma and cancer from an epidemiological viewpoint. Researchers have also used various techniques to assess mycoplasma prevalence in cancer patients from different countries.

In these studies, the researchers suggested that several microorganisms can establish inflammation and chronic infection that can cause cell transformation in the host’s body.

Among these microorganisms, mycoplasmas were of significant interest because of their intimate parasitism with the host cells. These microorganisms were also well regarded due to their silent and subtle action during infections.

Based on the findings, researchers detected no less than 10 mycoplasma species in at least 15 cancer types affecting the brain, breast, and lymphatic systems.

Scientists also found the cancers involved in different organs in the genitourinary (genital and urinary), gastrointestinal, respiratory, and urinary tracts.

These results suggest that mycoplasma detection may have a role in cancer. Still, scientists need more extensive investigations to understand this role better.

Laboratories and research institutes should continue to work towards high-quality and cost-effective research that can substantially improve cancer diagnosis and prevention.


  1. Cancer Facts & Figures 2022

  1. The Relationship between Mycoplasmas and Cancer: Is It Fact or Fiction ? Narrative Review and Update on the Situation

  1. Mycoplasma hyorhinis reduces sensitivity of human lung carcinoma cells to Nutlin-3 and promotes their malignant phenotype

  1. Macrophages protect mycoplasma‐infected chronic myeloid leukemia cells from natural killer cell killing

  1. Macrophage

  1. Mycoplasma infections and different human carcinomas

  1. Mycoplasma hyorhinis exist in gastric carcinoma and promote cell malignancy

  1. Prevalence of mycoplasma conserved DNA in malignant ovarian cancer detected using sensitive PCR-ELISA

  1. Presence of Mycoplasma DNA in Ovarian Cancer Tissue: Detection by PCR-ELISA Technique

  1. Detection of Mycoplasma ribosomal DNA sequences in ovarian tumors by nested PCR

  1. Mycoplasma Co-Infection Is Associated with Cervical Cancer Risk