- Intratumoral bacterial profiling detected a greater percentage of Moraxella osloensis in older vs younger patients with colorectal cancer (CRC).
- The rate of Fusobacterium nucleatum and the average number of species were higher in younger patients but not statistically significant.
Why this matters
- Intratumoral microbiome profiling can potentially identify younger individuals at risk for CRC.
- The study compared the intratumoral microbiome in 31 patients with CRC aged 65 years (n=13).
- DNA was extracted from tumors and analyzed using 16S ribosomal gene sequencing.
- Funding: Colorectal Cancer Alliance and others.
- The median age of younger and older patients was 39.2 and 72.8 years, respectively.
- A total of 478 unique bacterial and fungal species were detected.
- No significant difference observed in the rate of F nucleatum positive tumors of younger vs older patients (28% vs 23%).
- The rate of M osloensis was significantly lower in younger patients (11% vs 46%; P=.043).
- No significant difference observed in microbiome diversity in younger vs older patients (average species, 46 vs 42).
- Small sample size.
Study investigator Weinberg BA said, "If we can identify high risk stool microbiome — trying to look at the stool vs the tumor bacterial composition — it may help us identify someone at high risk of developing colorectal cancer."