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

S. Corbella, P. Veronesi, V. Galimberti, R. Weinstein, M.D. Fabbro, L. 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. © 2018 Corbella et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS One
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Article
  • breast cancer
  • cancer risk
  • disease association
  • esophagus cancer
  • human
  • lung cancer
  • nonhodgkin lymphoma
  • oropharynx cancer
  • outcome assessment
  • pancreas cancer
  • periodontitis
  • prostate cancer
  • risk assessment
  • systematic review
  • uterus cancer
  • complication
  • meta analysis
  • neoplasm
  • pathophysiology
  • prognosis
  • risk factor
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms
  • Periodontitis
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors


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