The Role of Gut Microbiome in the Pathogenesis of Prostate Cancer: A Prospective, Pilot Study.
Objective: To elucidate potential biomarkers or mechanistic principles involved with the gut microbiota and its impact on prostate cancer pathogenesis.
Materials and methods: We performed a prospective case-control pilot study evaluating the gut microbiome of 20 men with either benign prostatic conditions (n = 8) or intermediate or high risk clinically localized prostate cancer (Gleason ≥4 + 3 cN0M0) (n = 12) undergoing care at tertiary referral center from September 1, 2015 to March 1, 2016. Key exclusion criteria included recent antibiotic use, significant gastrointestinal disorders, hormonal or systemic therapy for prostate cancer. Computational genomics analysis was performed on collected stool samples using MetaPhlAn2 and HUMAnN2 platforms. Linear discriminant analysis effect size method was used to support high-dimensional class comparisons to find biologically relevant features. Kruskal-Wallis sum-rank test was used to detect features with significant differential abundance with respect to class, with biological consistency investigated using a set of pairwise tests among subclasses using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test, both to an α ≤0.05.
Results: Higher relative abundance of Bacteriodes massiliensis was seen in prostate cancer cases compared to controls. Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Eubacterium rectalie had higher relative abundance among controls. Biologically significant differences were also found in relative gene, pathway, and enzyme abundance.
Conclusion: Biologically significant differences exist in the gut microbial composition of men with prostate cancer compared to benign controls. These differences may play a role in the pathobiology of prostate cancer, and warrant further exploration.