Background: A significant proportion of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients suffer from early recurrence and progression after surgical treatment. Although the gut microbiota is considered as a key player in the initiation and progression of CRC, most prospective studies have been focused on a particular pathobionts such as Fusobacterium nucleatum. Here, we aimed to identify novel prognostic bacteria for CRC by examining the preoperative gut microbiota through 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing. Results: We collected stool samples from 333 patients with primary CRC within 2 weeks before surgery and followed up the patients for a median of 27.6 months for progression and 43.6 months for survival. The sequence and prognosis data were assessed using the log-rank test and multivariate Cox proportional hazard analysis. The gut microbiota was associated with the clinical outcomes of CRC patients (Pprogress = 0.011, Pdecease = 0.007). In particular, the high abundance of Prevotella, a representative genus of human enterotypes, indicated lower risks of CRC progression (P = 0.026) and decease (P = 0.0056), while the occurrence of Alistipes assigned to Bacteroides sp., Pyramidobacter piscolens, Dialister invisus, and Fusobacterium nucleatum indicated a high risk of progression. A microbiota-derived hazard score considering the five prognostic bacteria accurately predicted CRC progression in 1000 random subsamples; it outperformed widely accepted clinical biomarkers such as carcinoembryonic antigen and lymphatic invasion, after adjustment for the clinicopathological stage (adjusted HR 2.07 [95% CI, 1.61–2.64], P = 7.8e−9, C-index = 0.78). PICRUSt2 suggested that microbial pathways pertaining to thiamine salvage and L-histidine degradation underlie the different prognoses. Conclusions: The enterotypical genus Prevotella was demonstrated to be useful in improving CRC prognosis, and combined with the four pathobionts, our hazard score based on the gut microbiota should provide an important asset in predicting medical outcomes for CRC patients. [MediaObject not available: see fulltext.].
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© 2022, The Author(s).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)