Is periodontitis a risk indicator for cancer? A meta-analysis

Stefano Corbella, Paolo Veronesi, Viviana Galimberti, Roberto Weinstein, Massimo Del Fabbro, Luca Francetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background The aim of the present systematic review was to evaluate the hypothesis of an association between periodontitis and the development of cancer. Methods Two reviewers independently screened electronic and manual sources for pertinent articles. Primary outcome measures were the occurrence of neoplasm diagnosis in exposed and non-exposed groups, reported to evaluate association between cancer and periodontitis. Results Of the 490 initially retrieved papers 10 were included in the qualitative synthesis and eight in the quantitative synthesis; the eight papers covered six studies. Considering hazard ratios, a statistically significant association was found for all cancers studied (1.14; CI 95%: 1.04, 1.24), digestive tract cancer (1.34; CI 95%: 1.05, 1.72), pancreatic cancer (1.74; CI 95%: 1.21, 2.52), prostate cancer (1.25; CI 95%: 1.04, 1.51), breast cancer (1.11; CI 95%: 1.00, 1.23), corpus uteri cancer (2.20; CI 95%: 1.16, 4.18), lung cancer (1.24; CI 95%: 1.06, 1.45), hematological cancer (1.30; CI 95%: 1.11, 1.53), esophagus / oropharyngeal cancer pooled together (2.25; CI 95%: 1.30, 3.90) and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (1.30; CI 95%: 1.11, 1.52). Conclusions Despite the sparse scientific evidence and considering the low statistical power of the results, this systematic review revealed a substantial lack of studies with standardized and comparable methods to speculate about the association between periodontitis and cancer; more studies are need in order to explore further the scientific evidence of such correlation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0195683
JournalPLoS One
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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