Int J Biol Sci 2019; 15(11):2381-2392. doi:10.7150/ijbs.35980 This issue

Research Paper

Dysbiosis of the Gut Microbiome is associated with Tumor Biomarkers in Lung Cancer

Fang Liu1, Jingjing Li2, Yubin Guan3, Yanfeng Lou1, Huiying Chen2, Mingyu Xu2, Dequan Deng1, Jun Chen1, Beibei Ni4, Lan Zhao5, Hongwei Li2✉, Hong Sang1✉, Xiangsheng Cai1,3✉

1. Nanjing School of Clinical Medicine, Southern Medical University, Jinling Hospital, Nanjing, 210002, People's Republic of China.
2. Institute of Biotherapy, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, 510515, People's Republic of China.
3. Clinical Laboratory, The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, Guangzhou, 510080, People's Republic of China.
4. Cell-gene Therapy Translational Medicine Research Center, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510630, People's Republic of China.
5. Technology center, Guangdong Vitalife Bio-tech Co.,Ltd., Foshan, 528200, People's Republic of China.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( See for full terms and conditions.
Liu F, Li J, Guan Y, Lou Y, Chen H, Xu M, Deng D, Chen J, Ni B, Zhao L, Li H, Sang H, Cai X. Dysbiosis of the Gut Microbiome is associated with Tumor Biomarkers in Lung Cancer. Int J Biol Sci 2019; 15(11):2381-2392. doi:10.7150/ijbs.35980. Available from

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Graphic abstract

Lung cancer is a malignancy with high morbidity and mortality worldwide. More evidences indicated that gut microbiome plays an important role in the carcinogenesis and progression of cancers by metabolism, inflammation and immune response. However, the study about the characterizations of gut microbiome in lung cancer is limited. In this study, the fecal samples were collected from 16 healthy individuals and 30 lung cancer patients who were divided into 3 groups based on different tumor biomarkers (cytokeratin 19 fragment, neuron specific enolase and carcinoembryonic antigen, respectively) and were analyzed using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Each lung cancer group has characterized gut microbial community and presents an elimination, low-density, and loss of bacterial diversity microbial ecosystem compared to that of the healthy control. The microbiome structures in family and genera levels are more complex and significantly varied from each group presenting more different and special pathogen microbiome such as Enterobacteriaceae, Streptococcus, Prevotella, etc and fewer probiotic genera including Blautia, Coprococcus, Bifidobacterium and Lachnospiraceae. The Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) and COG annotation demonstrated decreased abundance of some dominant metabolism-related pathways in the lung cancer. This study explores for the first time the features of gut microbiome in lung cancer patients and may provide new insight into the pathogenesis of lung cancer system, with the implication that gut microbiota may serve as a microbial marker and contribute to the derived metabolites, development and differentiation in lung cancer system.

Keywords: Lung cancer, Gut microbiome, Cytokeratin 19 fragment, Neuron specific enolase, Carcinoembryonic antigen, Fecal, 16SrRNAsequencing