The Tumor Microbiome: A Source of New Biomarkers?

The Tumor Microbiome: A Source of New Biomarkers?

Table of Contents

August 23, 2022

Tumor Microbiome Sequence Data

Cancer biomarker research has leveraged RNA-seq and whole genome sequencing data to find genetic determinants of cancer prognosis and responses to different drugs. However, the sequence data from these studies not only contains host and tumor tissue sequences, but also sequences of microbiota in and around the tumor.

The tumor microbiome, and its role in cancer progression, is only just beginning to be understood. However, a recent study in Nature probed the microbiome sequence data for potential cancer biomarkers.

Predictive Power of the Tumor Microbiome

From RNA-seq and whole genome sequencing data, the authors were able to infer the abundance of microbes in a given tumor. In comparison to traditional tumor gene expression profiles, microbial signatures had similar power to predict drug response, but much poorer predictive power for cancer prognosis.

However, in combination with traditional tumor gene expression biomarkers, microbiome biomarkers could help create a more robust, multi-faceted picture of the tumor as a whole.

Outsourcing Bioinformatics Analysis

These results highlight the incredible potential of microbiome genomic analysis, a field that is largely driven by bioinformatics. This illustrates the importance of high-quality data analysis pipelines for turning sequencing data into actionable biological insights. If the tools and pipelines you need aren’t performing, or don’t exist, consider reaching out to a bioinformatics as a service (BaaS) provider like Bridge Informatics. Skilled computational scientists with bench experience and biological knowledge to understand your project are what set Bridge Informatics apart from other BaaS providers. Book a free discovery call with us today to see if we can meet your data analysis and pipeline development needs.

Jane Cook, Journalist & Content Writer, Bridge Informatics

Jane is a Content Writer at Bridge Informatics, a professional services firm that helps biotech customers implement advanced techniques in the management and analysis of genomic data. Bridge Informatics focuses on data mining, machine learning, and various bioinformatic techniques to discover biomarkers and companion diagnostics. If you’re interested in reaching out, please email [email protected] or [email protected].


Cancer biomarker research
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