Postmenopause as a key factor in the composition of the Endometrial Cancer Microbiome (ECbiome)

Dana M. Walsh, Alexis N. Hokenstad, Jun Chen, Jaeyun Sung, Gregory D. Jenkins, Nicholas Chia, Heidi Nelson, Andrea Mariani, Marina R.S. Walther-Antonio

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Abstract

Incidence rates for endometrial cancer (EC) are rising, particularly in postmenopausal and obese women. Previously, we showed that the uterine and vaginal microbiome distinguishes patients with EC from those without. Here, we sought to examine the impact of patient factors (such as menopause status, body mass index, and vaginal pH) in the microbiome in the absence of EC and how these might contribute to the microbiome signature in EC. We find that each factor independently alters the microbiome and identified postmenopausal status as the main driver of a polymicrobial network associated with EC (ECbiome). We identified Porphyromas somerae presence as the most predictive microbial marker of EC and we confirm this using targeted qPCR, which could be of use in detecting EC in high-risk, asymptomatic women. Given the established pathogenic behavior of P. somerae and accompanying network in tissue infections and ulcers, future investigation into their role in EC is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number19213
JournalScientific reports
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

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