Phagocytosis of Candida albicans enhances malignant behavior of murine tumor cells

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Science  11 Dec 1987:
Vol. 238, Issue 4833, pp. 1573-1575
DOI: 10.1126/science.3317835


Murine tumor cells were induced to phagocytize either Candida albicans or group A streptococcal cells. The presence of microbial particles within the tumor cell cytoplasm had no effect on in vitro tumor cell growth. However, when Candida albicans-infected tumor cells were injected into syngeneic mice, they formed tumors that grew faster, invaded the surrounding normal tissue more rapidly and metastasized more rapidly than control tumor cells. Tumor cells infected with group A streptococcal particles did not grow faster or show increased malignant behavior. These data indicate that the in vivo behavior of malignant tumor cells can be modulated by microbial particles, which are often present in the microenvironment of the growing tumor.