A brightly colored cluster of cancer cells on a drab background is what you will get if you look up an image of a tumor on a search engine. Lian Narunsky Haziza is a cancer biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. Dozens of species may be represented by millions of microbes in a tumors.

She said that she thinks it's an ant colony. Cancer cells are not alone.

Scientists have known for a long time that our bodies are home to microbes and have treated tumors as if they were sterile. Researchers have shown that tumors are home to a lot of microbes.

Various blends ofbacteria were found in tumors in 2020. Two studies published in the journal Cell found that tumors are home to a lot of different types of fungi.

Some scientists hope to find early signs of hidden tumors with the help of the Tumor Microbiome. Some research shows that tumors may be made more aggressive or resistant byMicrobes. If that is the case, it could be possible to fight cancer by attacking the tumor itself with a different type of drug.

A cancer biologist at Weizmann who collaborated with Dr. Narunsky Haziza on one of the new studies said that everything we know about cancer needs to be reexamined.

Scientists have been fishing for the microbes in the human body for two decades. There are thousands of species that live harmlessly in a person. Organs that were thought to be sterile have their own cultures.

Cancer remained largely incognita while researchers explored the healthy microbiome. The millions of cells that make up tumors were unknown.

A group of people stumbled across a colony ofbacteria inside tumors. They were puzzled over how some tumors were able to resist the therapy. The drug was being blocked by a species ofbacteria.

ImageTiny cells on a micrograph look like oblong dots in pink and blue on a black background.
Fungal and immune cells in human breast cancer, with the fungal cells stained in pink and the human cell nuclei in blue.Credit...Deborah Nejman and Nancy Gavert
Tiny cells on a micrograph look like oblong dots in pink and blue on a black background.

A large-scale survey ofbacteria in more than 1,000 tumors from seven different types of cancer was the result of that finding. They foundbacteria in all seven types.

A team of researchers at the University of California, San Diego carried out their own search using a huge database of DNA from different types of cancer.

The Cancer Genome Atlas was supposed to help scientists find the genes that cause cancer. The San Diego team realized that the raw data may contain the genes from the tumors.

They had to sift through the six trillion genetic fragments in the atlas to find the bits of bacterial DNA.

A member of the team said that it was like trying to find needles in a haystack.

It took a long time but it paid off. A small percentage of the DNA fragments in cancer were found to be frombacteria, not humans.

After the researchers published their study in 2020, they joined forces with Dr. Straussman's team to find out if the tumors contained mushrooms.

One of the great success stories of evolution is the mushroom. The mushrooms that grow in forests, the yeast that ferment bread and beer, and the mold that brought penicillin are included.

The way they eat is one of the hallmarks. They use enzymes to break down the organic material. In all sorts of extreme conditions, Fungi can produce a lot of spores, which can survive for a long time.

We are exposed to a lot of different types of fungi, from picking up spores on our skin to hitchhiking. They won't live in our bodies.

Iliev said a lot is just passing through.

Some species have adapted to live indoors. We make oils from the skin. The sugars in our mouths and bicyle are fed by others. Other fungi have been found in our bodies. Dr. Iliev said they don't know a lot.

ImageA swirl of cells in turquoise fill the frame. Some of the swirls are lined with small black blobs.
A section of a human lung tumor, in turquoise, with fungi stained in black.Credit...Lian Narunsky Haziza and Nancy Gavert
A swirl of cells in turquoise fill the frame. Some of the swirls are lined with small black blobs.

The San Diego and Weizmann researchers looked for the same things in tumors as they did inbacteria. They only looked for the genes that were related to the disease. They also looked at the tumors.

In one of the studies released on Thursday, the scientists reported that all the types of tumors they looked at contained at least one type of fungus.

In the other report, Dr. Iliev and his colleagues found fungi in tumors from seven different parts of the body.

The scale of the findings surprised the microbial ecologist at New York University who was not involved. He wasn't expecting the amount of fungus in cancer. The way we think about it will be changed by this.

A group of people in San Diego founded Micronoma to turn their research into a blood test for cancer. They say they can accurately predict what type of cancer the microbes came from by looking at the DNA shed by them.

They don't know what makes the test work. It's possible that geography is part of the answer. New organs can be used to get inside tumors. It is1-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-6556 is1-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-6556

The studies found that the microbes were linked to worse outcomes from cancer. Dr. Iliev and his colleagues found that people were more likely to die of stomach cancer if they had tumors with a species of fungus.

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A microbiologist at Texas A&M University who was not involved in the new studies warned that the research alone couldn't establish if a microbe had any effect. Experiments on cancer cells can be done in a dish or animal.

Does it mean that it is living hunky-dory with the tumors, or is it actually causing the tumors to get bigger and progress? "What do you think?" Dr. Galloway- Pea asked. At this point, you don't know.