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Cancer Microbe Communities Retraced From RNA Sequence Data

Italian and German researchers reporting in Genome Medicine tapped into human RNA sequencing profiles from past cancer studies to put together within-tumor microbial communities offering clues to colon cancer features. Using available RNA sequencing data for colon cancer, lung, brain, skin, breast, and other cancer samples profiled for the Cancer Genome Atlas and other publicly available datasets, the team tracked down tumor-specific microbiome patterns. In particular, the results highlight intratumor microbiome patterns linked to colon cancer molecular features, location, immune cell infiltration features, and patient survival patterns — findings the authors confirmed in another colon cancer cohort. "Our results indicate strong associations between the bacterial composition and molecular, clinical, and prognostic properties of the tumor and highlight specific bacterial species potentially associated with them," they report, noting that "we explored associations with the immune compartment and bacterial metabolic peculiarities in the left and right colon."