Toxoplasma, a common parasite that can enter the human body from poorly cooked meat, contaminated water, and even cat litter, is much more dangerous than thought.
Scientists have found a link between this parasite and an increased risk of developing aggressive forms of brain cancer.
According to Medportal.ru, scientists from the American Cancer Society have found that this parasite can cause the formation of cysts and gliomas – malignant brain tumors. It may also be linked to an increased risk of developing glioblastomas, the most aggressive form of brain cancer, with a five-year survival rate of only 5%.
A study involving 111 patients enrolled in the American Cancer Prevention Study, as well as 646 people from the Cancer Registry of Norway, found that the people most exposed to the parasite had the highest risk of developing brain tumors.
More studies are needed with larger cohorts, the researchers said. If these results are confirmed, by reducing the impact of Toxoplasma on the body, it will be possible for the first time to reduce the risk of developing malignant brain tumors.