UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Distinct bronchial microbiome precedes clinical diagnosis of lung cancer Marshall, Erin A.; Filho, Fernando S. L.; Sin, Don; Lam, Stephen; Leung, Janice M.; Lam, Wan


Resident microbial populations have been detected across solid tumors of diverse origins. Sequencing of the airway microbiota represents an opportunity for establishing a novel omics approach to early detection of lung cancer, as well as risk prediction of cancer development. We hypothesize that bacterial shifts in the pre-malignant lung may be detected in non-cancerous airway liquid biopsies collected during bronchoscopy. We analyzed the airway microbiome profile of near 400 patients: epithelial brushing samples from those with lung cancer, those who developed an incident cancer, and those who do not develop cancer after 10-year follow-up. Using linear discriminate analysis, we define and validate a microbial-based classifier that is able to predict incident cancer in patients before diagnosis with no clinical signs of cancer. Our results demonstrate the potential of using lung microbiome profiling as a method for early detection of lung cancer.

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Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)