Sex-specific Alterations in the Urinary and Tissue Microbiome in Therapy-naïve Urothelial Bladder Cancer Patients

Bladder Cancer

Pederzoli F, et al. Eur Urol Oncol 2020.


Comprehensive characterization of the urinary and urothelium-bound microbiomes in bladder cancer (BCa) and healthy state is essential to understand how these local microbiomes may play a role in BCa tumorigenesis and response to therapy, as well as to explain sex-based differences in BCa pathobiology. Performing 16 s rDNA microbiome analysis on 166 samples (urine and paired bladder tissues) from therapy-naïve BCa patients undergoing radical cystectomy and healthy controls, we defined (1)

sex-specific microbiome differences in the urine and bladder tissue, and (2) representativeness of the tissue microenvironment by the voided urinary microbiome. The genus Klebsiella was more common in the urine of female BCa patients versus healthy controls, while no clinically relevant bacteria were found differently enriched in men. In tissues, the genus Burkholderia was more abundant in the neoplastic versus the non-neoplastic tissue in both sexes, suggesting a potential role in BCa pathobiology. Lastly, we found that the urinary microbiome shares >80% of the bacterial families present in the paired bladder tissue, making the urinary microbiome a fair proxy of the tissue bacterial environment. PATIENT SUMMARY: We identified specific bacteria present in the urine and tissues of male and female bladder cancer patients. These novel data represent a first step toward understanding the influence of the bladder microbiome on the development of bladder cancer and on the response to intravesical and systemic therapies.