A comprehensive survey reveals bacteria are widespread in human tumors and differ by tumor type

May 28, 2020

Different human tumor types each harbor their own unique bacterial communities, researchers report in a new study that profiled the microbiomes of more than 1,500 individual tumors across seven types of human cancer - the most comprehensive tumor microbiome study to date. It has long been known that bacteria are present in tumors that originate from tissues routinely exposed to microbes (e.g., the gastrointestinal tract) but whether they are present in tumors arising from "sterile" tissues has been less clear. Deborah Nejman and colleagues collected over 1,500 tumor samples and samples of adjacent normal tissue from nine medical centers in four countries. The samples included melanoma, bone and brain cancer, tumor types whose association with bacteria had not previously been explored. Applying a variety of methods to detect bacterial DNA, RNA and protein, and taking rigorous measures to exclude contamination, they found that most tumors and their adjacent normal tissues harbor bacteria. Different tumor types had distinct microbiomes, with breast tumors displaying a particularly rich and diverse community of bacteria. What's more, the authors found that bacteria within the tumors were present in both cancer cells and immune cells. While there were intriguing associations between specific species of intra-tumor bacteria and factors such as patient smoking status, further work will be required to determine whether and how intratumor bacteria contribute to tumor development, progression, and response to therapy. "Achieving a comprehensive understanding of the tumor microenvironment is a daunting yet critical step toward an organism-wide mechanistic model of cancer progression and, if successful, may unlock the next wave of precision cancer diagnostics and therapeutics," write Chloe Atreya and Peter Turnbaugh in a related Perspective.
-end-


American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Bacteria Articles from Brightsurf:

Siblings can also differ from one another in bacteria
A research team from the University of Tübingen and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) is investigating how pathogens influence the immune response of their host with genetic variation.

How bacteria fertilize soya
Soya and clover have their very own fertiliser factories in their roots, where bacteria manufacture ammonium, which is crucial for plant growth.

Bacteria might help other bacteria to tolerate antibiotics better
A new paper by the Dynamical Systems Biology lab at UPF shows that the response by bacteria to antibiotics may depend on other species of bacteria they live with, in such a way that some bacteria may make others more tolerant to antibiotics.

Two-faced bacteria
The gut microbiome, which is a collection of numerous beneficial bacteria species, is key to our overall well-being and good health.

Microcensus in bacteria
Bacillus subtilis can determine proportions of different groups within a mixed population.

Right beneath the skin we all have the same bacteria
In the dermis skin layer, the same bacteria are found across age and gender.

Bacteria must be 'stressed out' to divide
Bacterial cell division is controlled by both enzymatic activity and mechanical forces, which work together to control its timing and location, a new study from EPFL finds.

How bees live with bacteria
More than 90 percent of all bee species are not organized in colonies, but fight their way through life alone.

The bacteria building your baby
Australian researchers have laid to rest a longstanding controversy: is the womb sterile?

Hopping bacteria
Scientists have long known that key models of bacterial movement in real-world conditions are flawed.

Read More: Bacteria News and Bacteria Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.