Baseline Oral Microbiome and All-cancer Incidence in a Cohort of Nonsmoking Mexican American Women

Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2021 Mar;14(3):383-392. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-20-0405. Epub 2020 Dec 4.


Given the increasing evidence that the oral microbiome is involved in obesity, diabetes, and cancer risk, we investigated baseline oral microbiota profiles in relation to all-cancer incidence among nonsmoking women enrolled in a Texas cohort of first- and second-generation immigrants of Mexican origin. We characterized the 16Sv4 rDNA microbiome in oral mouthwash samples collected at baseline from a representative subset of 305 nonsmoking women, ages 20-75 years. We evaluated within- (alpha) and between-sample (beta) diversity by incident cancer status and applied linear discriminant analysis (LDA) effect size analysis to assess differentially abundant taxa. Diversity and candidate taxa in relation to all-cancer incidence were evaluated in multivariable-adjusted Cox regression models. Over 8.8 median years of follow-up, 31 incident cancer cases were identified and verified. Advanced age, greater acculturation, and cardiometabolic risk factors were associated with all-cancer incidence. Higher alpha diversity (age-adjusted P difference < 0.01) and distinct biological communities (P difference = 0.002) were observed by incident cancer status. Each unit increase in the Shannon diversity index yielded >8-fold increase in all-cancer and obesity-related cancer risk [multivariable-adjusted HR (95% confidence interval), 8.11 (3.14-20.94) and 10.72 (3.30-34.84), respectively] with similar findings for the inverse Simpson index. Streptococcus was enriched among women who did not develop cancer, while Fusobacterium, Prevotella, Mogibacterium, Campylobacter, Lachnoanaerobaculum, Dialister, and Atopobium were higher among women who developed cancer (LDA score ≥ 3; q-value < 0.01). This initial study of oral microbiota and overall cancer risk in nonsmoking Mexican American women suggests the readily accessible oral microbiota as a promising biomarker. PREVENTION RELEVANCE: Mexican American women suffer a disproportionate burden of chronic health conditions that increase cancer risk. Few investigations of the microbiome, a key determinant of host health, have been conducted among this group. Oral microbiota profiles may provide early and accessible cancer biomarker data on invasive bacteria or community disruptions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bacteria / pathogenicity*
  • Dysbiosis / complications*
  • Dysbiosis / microbiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Mexican Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Microbiota*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth / microbiology*
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / microbiology
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Texas / epidemiology
  • Young Adult