18 august 2023

The Impact of Alcohol Consumption and Oral Microbiota on Upper Aerodigestive Tract Carcinomas: A Pilot Study

Alcohol consumption is associated with oxidative stress and an increased risk of carcinoma of the upper aero-digestive tract (UADT). Recently, it has been found that some microorganisms in the human oral cavity may locally metabolize ethanol, forming acetaldehyde, a carcinogenic metabolite of alcohol. In a cohort of patients first visited for UADT cancers, we estimated their alcohol consumption by measuring Ethyl Glucuronide/EtG (a long-lasting metabolite of ethanol) in the hair and carbohydrate-deficient transferrin/CDT (short-term index of alcohol intake) in the serum. Moreover, we analyzed, by culture-based methods, the presence of Neisseria subflava, Streptococcus mitis, Candida albicans, and glabrata (microorganisms generating acetaldehyde) in the oral cavity. According to the EtG values, we correlated drinking alcohol with endogenous oxidative stress and the investigated microorganism's presence. We found that 55% of heavy drinkers presented microorganisms generating acetaldehyde locally. Moreover, we found that the presence of oral acetaldehyde-producing bacteria correlates with increased oxidative stress compared to patients without such bacteria. As for the study of alcohol dehydrogenase gene polymorphisms (the enzyme that transforms alcohol to acetaldehyde), we found that only the "CGTCGTCCC" haplotype was more frequent in the general population than in carcinoma patients. This pilot study suggests the importance of estimating alcohol consumption (EtG), the presence of bacteria producing acetaldehyde, and oxidative stress as risk factors for the onset of oral carcinomas.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Fiore M.; Minni A.; Cavalcanti L.; Raponi G.; Puggioni G.; Mattia A.; Gariglio S.; Colizza A.; Meliante P. G.; Zoccali F.; Tarani L.; Barbato C.; Lucarelli M.; Ceci F. M.; Francati S.; Ferraguti G.; Ceccanti M.; Petrella C.
  • Issue

    M Fiore et al.  Antioxidants (Basel) (2023) volume 12
  • Published Date

    18 august 2023