Bacterial Sequencing Reads in Blood Exome Files from Melanoma and Cervical Cancer Patients are Associated with Cancer Recurrence

Mol Biotechnol. 2023 Sep;65(9):1476-1484. doi: 10.1007/s12033-023-00663-9. Epub 2023 Jan 18.


Bacteremia poses great risk for morbidity and mortality for immunocompromised cancer patients. Although the presence of bacteria within solid tumors is gaining greater attention, few studies have analyzed species of bacteria in the blood and their effect on cancer clinical outcomes. Using the Kraken 2 taxonomic profiling tool, we classified bacteria present in blood and primary tumors of cervical cancer and melanoma cases. The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) melanoma blood exome files with Pseudomonas species were found to represent a worse disease-free survival (DFS) probability, while a worse overall survival (OS) result was evidenced for both the TCGA and Moffitt Cancer Center melanoma datasets. Cervical cancer cases with reads representing the Bradyrhizobium genus and Bradyrhizobium sp. BTAi1 found in blood and tumor exome files were found to have lower DFS. Additionally, reduced DFS and OS were observed for cervical cancer cases positive for Bacteroides species including Bacteroides fragilis. This study provides novel evidence and a novel approach for indicating that bacteria in blood is associated with cancer recurrence. These findings may guide the development of more efficient prognostic and screening tools related to bacterial blood infections of melanoma and cervical cancer patients.

Keywords: Bacteroides; Blood exome files; Bradyrhizobium; Melanoma and cervical cancer; Patient outcomes; Pseudomonas.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Exome
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Melanoma* / genetics
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms* / genetics