Changes in abundance of oral microbiota associated with oral cancer

Brian L. Schmidt, Justin Kuczynski, Aditi Bhattacharya, Bing Huey, Patricia M. Corby, Erica L.S. Queiroz, Kira Nightingale, A. Ross Kerr, Mark D. DeLacure, Ratna Veeramachaneni, Adam B. Olshen, Donna G. Albertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Individual bacteria and shifts in the composition of the microbiome have been associated with human diseases including cancer. To investigate changes in the microbiome associated with oral cancers, we profiled cancers and anatomically matched contralateral normal tissue from the same patient by sequencing 16S rDNA hypervariable region amplicons. In cancer samples from both a discovery and a subsequent confirmation cohort, abundance of Firmicutes (especially Streptococcus) and Actinobacteria (especially Rothia ) was significantly decreased relative to contralateral normal samples from the same patient. Significant decreases in abundance of these phyla were observed for pre-cancers, but not when comparing samples from contralateral sites (tongue and floor of mouth) from healthy individuals. Weighted UniFrac principal coordinates analysis based on 12 taxa separated most cancers from other samples with greatest separation of node positive cases. These studies begin to develop a framework for exploiting the oral microbiome for monitoring oral cancer development, progression and recurrence. Copyright:

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere98741
JournalPloS one
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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