A Prospective Study to Examine the Association of the Urinary and Fecal Microbiome with Prostate Cancer and Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia using 16sRNA Analysis

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There are accumulating evidence that variations in the human microbiome are associated with disease pathologies including cancer. Our goal was to examine the association between urinary and fecal microbial profiles and the diagnosis of prostate cancer vs. benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in patients undergoing transrectal ultrasound guided biopsy of the prostate.


Total DNA was extracted from urine and fecal samples collected before a prostate biopsy for elevated prostatic specific antigen or those who are on active surveillance. Extracted DNA was amplified and sequenced using the bacterial 16S rRNA high-throughput next generation sequencing platform. Microbial profiles were analyzed for taxonomy comparing between patients who are diagnosed with prostate cancer and BPH.


A total of 30 patients were included in our analysis (60 samples, 1 urine and 1 fecal per patient). The majority of patients with prostate cancer (10/14) had similar bacterial communities within their urinary sample profile and clustered separately than patients with BPH (n=16). Analysis of the bacterial taxonomies of the fecal samples did not reveal any associations. Patients who had a Gleason score (GS) of 6 (n=11) were present in both urine bacterial community clusters, but patients with GS 7 or greater (n=3) did not cluster closely with BPH patients.


The difference in the urinary tract microbiome supports a possible association for the bacterial environment inside the prostate and the development of prostate cancer. We plan on validating these results in a larger cohort of patients.

Funding: None.