Bello S, Vengoechea JJ, Ponce-Alonso M,..., Del Campo R. Core Microbiota in Central Lung Cancer With Streptococcal Enrichment as a Possible Diagnostic Marker.

Arch Bronconeumol. 2020

"This work is the result of the collaboration between clinicians and basic researchers, and opens a very interesting research line to look for microbial markers of lung cancer" - Dra. Rosa del Campo -


BACKGROUND: Dysbiosis in lung cancer has been underexplored. The aim of this study was to define the bacterial and fungal microbiota of the bronchi in central lung cancer and to compare it with that of the oral and intestinal compartments.

METHODS: Twenty-five patients with central lung cancer and sixteen controls without antimicrobial intake during the previous month were recruited. Bacterial and fungal distribution was determined by massive sequencing of bronchial biopsies and saliva and faecal samples. Complex computational analysis was performed to define the core lung microbiota.

RESULTS: Affected and contralateral bronchi of patients have almost identical microbiota dominated by Streptococcus, whereas Pseudomonas was the dominant genera in controls. Oral and pulmonary ecosystems were significantly more similar in patients, probably due to microaspirations. Streptococcal abundance in the bronchi differentiated patients from controls according to a ROC curve analysis (90.9% sensitivity, 83.3% specificity, AUC=0.897). The saliva of patients characteristically showed a greater abundance of Streptococcus, Rothia, Gemella and Lactobacillus. The mycobiome of controls (Candida) was significantly different from that of patients (Malassezia). Cancer patients' bronchial mycobiome was similar to their saliva, but different from their contralateral bronchi.

CONCLUSIONS: The central lung cancer microbiome shows high levels of Streptococcus, and differs significantly in its composition from that of control subjects. Changes are not restricted to tumour tissue, and seem to be the consequence of microaspirations from the oral cavity. These findings could be useful in the screening and even diagnosis of this disease.

Why do you highligth this publication?

This is the first characterization of lung microbiota in central lung cancer. Our results allowed to hypothesize that Streptococcal abundance could be a marker for lung cancer.

Publication commented by:

Dra. Rosa del Campo
Microbiology Department
Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal

Biology and Evolution of Microoganisms

Top: summary of the work.
Almetrics, August 2020

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