Adaptive changes in the gut microbiome during standard-of-care chemoradiotherapy for gynecologic cancers

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
M. B. El AlamLauren E Colbert


Background: A diverse and abundant gut microbiome can improve cancer patients treatment response; however, the effect of pelvic chemoradiotherapy (CRT) on gut diversity and composition is unclear. The purpose of this prospective study was to identify changes in the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome during and after pelvic CRT. Materials and Methods: Rectal swabs from 58 women with cervical, vaginal, or vulvar cancer from two institutions were prospectively analyzed before CRT (baseline), during CRT (weeks 1, 3, and 5), and at first follow-up (week 12) using 16Sv4 rRNA gene sequencing of the V4 hypervariable region of the bacterial 16S rRNA marker gene. Observed operational taxonomic units (OTUs; representative of richness) and Shannon, Simpson, Inverse Simpson, and Fisher diversity indices were used to characterize alpha (within-sample) diversity. Changes over time were assessed using a paired t-test, repeated measures ANOVA, and linear mixed modeling. Compositional changes in specific bacteria over time were evaluated using linear discriminant analysis effect size. Results: Gut microbiome richness and diversity levels continually decreased throughout CRT (mean Shannon diversity index, 2.52 vs. 2.91; all P <0.01),...Continue Reading

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