Nav: Home

Presence of certain oral bacterium in esophageal cancer samples associated with shorter survival

October 21, 2016

Bottom Line: Among Japanese patients with esophageal cancer, those whose cancer tested positive for DNA from the bacterium Fusobacterium nucleatum had shorter cancer-specific survival compared with those whose cancer had no DNA from the bacterium.

Journal in Which the Study was Published: Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Author: Hideo Baba, MD, PhD, a professor in the Department of Gastroenterological Surgery in the Graduate School of Medical Sciences at Kumamoto University, Japan.

Background: More than 100 trillion bacteria naturally inhabit every person's body; they are collectively referred to as the microbiome, Baba explained.

"The gut microbiome has recently been shown to play an important role in health, as well as in diseases such as obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and several types of cancers," said Baba. "We set out to investigate whether F. nucleatum, which is part of many people's oral microbiome, is associated with esophageal cancer development and/or progression."

How the Study Was Conducted and Results: Baba and colleagues collected esophageal cancer tissue samples from 325 consecutive patients who were having the cancer surgically removed at Kumamoto University Hospital from April 2005 to June 2013 and tested them for the presence of F. nucleatum DNA. Patients were followed until January 31, 2016, or death. During this time, there were 75 deaths attributable to esophageal cancer.

The researchers detected F. nucleatum DNA in 23 percent of the esophageal cancer tissue samples they tested. The presence of F. nucleatum DNA was associated with shorter survival. Specifically, after controlling for factors associated with survival, such as age, tobacco use, and tumor stage, patients with tumors positive for F. nucleatum DNA were significantly more likely to have died as a result of esophageal cancer.

Author Comment: "Our findings suggest that testing for the presence of F. nucleatum DNA in esophageal cancer tissue could provide a biomarker of prognosis," said Baba. "If they are replicated in a large, international, multi-institutional study, such testing could provide physicians with important information to consider while deciding how best to manage the care of a patient with esophageal cancer. In addition, the data suggest that therapeutic targeting of F. nucleatum could be a potential new approach to suppress the development and growth of esophageal cancer.

"It is important to note that our data provide no insight into whether F. nucleatum causes esophageal cancer," added Baba. "However, this is something we are hoping to study in the future."

Limitations: According to Baba, the main limitation of the study is that this is a single-institution study. Because the component bacteria of a person's microbiome differ according to numerous factors, including age, place of residence, food consumed, and race, these data cannot be generalized to all individuals unless they are confirmed in a large, international, multi-institutional study.
-end-
Funding & Disclosures: The study was funded in part by SGH Foundation. Baba declares no conflicts of interest.

To interview Hideo Baba, contact Julia Gunther at julia.gunther@aacr.org or 215-446-6896.

Follow us: Cancer Research Catalyst http://blog.aacr.org; Twitter @AACR; and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/aacr.org

About the American Association for Cancer Research

Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world's first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR membership includes more than 37,000 laboratory, translational, and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and patient advocates residing in 108 countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise of the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, biology, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer by annually convening more than 30 conferences and educational workshops, the largest of which is the AACR Annual Meeting with nearly 19,500 attendees. In addition, the AACR publishes eight prestigious, peer-reviewed scientific journals and a magazine for cancer survivors, patients, and their caregivers. The AACR funds meritorious research directly as well as in cooperation with numerous cancer organizations. As the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer, the AACR provides expert peer review, grants administration, and scientific oversight of team science and individual investigator grants in cancer research that have the potential for near-term patient benefit. The AACR actively communicates with legislators and other policymakers about the value of cancer research and related biomedical science in saving lives from cancer. For more information about the AACR, visit http://www.AACR.org.

American Association for Cancer Research

Related Cancer Articles:

Radiotherapy for invasive breast cancer increases the risk of second primary lung cancer
East Asian female breast cancer patients receiving radiotherapy have a higher risk of developing second primary lung cancer.
Cancer genomics continued: Triple negative breast cancer and cancer immunotherapy
Continuing PLOS Medicine's special issue on cancer genomics, Christos Hatzis of Yale University, New Haven, Conn., USA and colleagues describe a new subtype of triple negative breast cancer that may be more amenable to treatment than other cases of this difficult-to-treat disease.
Metabolite that promotes cancer cell transformation and colorectal cancer spread identified
Osaka University researchers revealed that the metabolite D-2-hydroxyglurate (D-2HG) promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition of colorectal cancer cells, leading them to develop features of lower adherence to neighboring cells, increased invasiveness, and greater likelihood of metastatic spread.
UH Cancer Center researcher finds new driver of an aggressive form of brain cancer
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers have identified an essential driver of tumor cell invasion in glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer that can occur at any age.
UH Cancer Center researchers develop algorithm to find precise cancer treatments
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers developed a computational algorithm to analyze 'Big Data' obtained from tumor samples to better understand and treat cancer.
New analytical technology to quantify anti-cancer drugs inside cancer cells
University of Oklahoma researchers will apply a new analytical technology that could ultimately provide a powerful tool for improved treatment of cancer patients in Oklahoma and beyond.
Radiotherapy for lung cancer patients is linked to increased risk of non-cancer deaths
Researchers have found that treating patients who have early stage non-small cell lung cancer with a type of radiotherapy called stereotactic body radiation therapy is associated with a small but increased risk of death from causes other than cancer.
Cancer expert says public health and prevention measures are key to defeating cancer
Is investment in research to develop new treatments the best approach to controlling cancer?
UI Cancer Center, Governors State to address cancer disparities in south suburbs
The University of Illinois Cancer Center and Governors State University have received a joint four-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to help both institutions conduct community-based research to reduce cancer-related health disparities in Chicago's south suburbs.
Leading cancer research organizations to host international cancer immunotherapy conference
The Cancer Research Institute, the Association for Cancer Immunotherapy, the European Academy of Tumor Immunology, and the American Association for Cancer Research will join forces to sponsor the first International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in New York, Sept.

Related Cancer Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Moving Forward
When the life you've built slips out of your grasp, you're often told it's best to move on. But is that true? Instead of forgetting the past, TED speakers describe how we can move forward with it. Guests include writers Nora McInerny and Suleika Jaouad, and human rights advocate Lindy Lou Isonhood.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...