Prediagnostic Antibody Responses to Fusobacterium nucleatum Proteins Are Not Associated with Risk of Colorectal Cancer in a Large U.S. Consortium

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2021 Jun;30(6):1279-1282. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1471. Epub 2021 Mar 18.


Background: The association between prediagnostic antibody responses to Fusobacterium nucleatum (F. nucleatum) and subsequent risk of colorectal cancer is not established.

Methods: We conducted a nested case-control study of 8,126 participants in a consortium of 10 prospective cohorts in the United States.

Results: Higher seroprevalence of any F. nucleatum antibody was observed among non-White participants (51.1%) compared with White participants (31.2%). We did not find any statistically significant association between seropositivity to any of the eight F. nucleatum proteins and colorectal cancer risk.

Conclusions: Prediagnostic antibody responses to F. nucleatum proteins were not associated with the risk of colorectal cancer.

Impact: Future studies may consider a more specific detection of the immunoglobulin isotypes or focus on examining F. nucleatum in stool or tissue samples.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood*
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / immunology
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / blood
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / immunology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / microbiology
  • Female
  • Fusobacterium nucleatum / immunology*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • United States


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Proteins