Oral microbiome and pancreatic cancer

Ai Lin Wei, Mao Li, Guo Qing Li, Xuan Wang, Wei Ming Hu, Zhen Lu Li, Jue Yuan, Hong Ying Liu, Li Li Zhou, Ka Li, Ang Li, Mei Rosemary Fu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND Microbiota profiles differ between patients with pancreatic cancer and healthy people, and understanding these differences may help in early detection of pancreatic cancer. Saliva sampling is an easy and cost-effective way to determine microbiota profiles compared to fecal and tissue sample collection. AIM To investigate the saliva microbiome distribution in patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and the role of oral microbiota profiles in detection and risk prediction of pancreatic cancer. METHODS We conducted a prospective study of patients with pancreatic cancer (n = 41) and healthy individuals (n = 69). Bacterial taxa were identified by 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid gene sequencing, and a linear discriminant analysis effect size algorithm was used to identify differences in taxa. Operational taxonomic unit values of all selected taxa were converted into a normalized Z-score, and logistic regressions were used to calculate risk prediction of pancreatic cancer. RESULTS Compared with the healthy control group, carriage of Streptococcus and Leptotrichina (z-score) was associated with a higher risk of PDAC [odds ratio (OR) = 5.344, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.282-22.282, P = 0.021 and OR = 6.886, 95%CI: 1.423-33.337, P = 0.016, respectively]. Veillonella and Neisseria (z-score) were considered a protective microbe that decreased the risk of PDAC (OR = 0.187, 95%CI: 0.055-0.631, P = 0.007 and OR = 0.309, 95%CI: 0.100-0.952, P = 0.041, respectively). Among the patients with PDAC, patients reporting bloating have a higher abundance of Porphyromonas (P = 0.039), Fusobacterium (P = 0.024), and Alloprevotella (P = 0.041); while patients reporting jaundice had a higher amount of Prevotella (P = 0.008); patients reporting dark brown urine had a higher amount of Veillonella (P = 0.035). Patients reporting diarrhea had a lower amount of Neisseria and Campylobacter (P = 0.024 and P = 0.034), and patients reporting vomiting had decreased Alloprevotella (P = 0.036). CONCLUSION Saliva microbiome was able to distinguish patients with pancreatic cancer and healthy individuals. Leptotrichia may be specific for patients living in Sichuan Province, southwest China. Symptomatic patients had different bacteria profiles than asymptomatic patients. Combined symptom and microbiome evaluation may help in the early detection of pancreatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7679-7692
Number of pages14
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number48
StatePublished - Dec 28 2020


  • 16s rRNA
  • Cancer detection
  • Dysbiosis
  • High-throughput sequencing
  • Oral microbiota
  • Pancreatic cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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