Characterization of urinary microbiome in patients with bladder cancer: Results from a single-institution, feasibility study

Juan Chipollini, Justin R. Wright, Hephzibah Nwanosike, Carole Y. Kepler, Ken Batai, Benjamin R. Lee, Philippe E. Spiess, David B. Stewart, Regina Lamendella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objectives: The human microbiome has been linked to the development of several malignancies, but there is scarcity of data on the microbiome of bladder cancer patients. In this study, we analyzed microbial composition and diversity among patients with and without bladder cancer. Material and Methods: Samples were collected from 38 urothelial carcinoma (UC) patients and 10 noncancer controls from August 2018 to May 2019. DNA was extracted and processed for 16 S ribosomal RNA sequencing. Alpha diversity community characteristics including evenness and richness as well as beta diversity metrics were obtained. Linear discriminant analysis effect size was used to identify microbial components whose sequences were more abundant. Pairwise statistics provided quantitative assessment of significant distributions among groups. Results: Thirty seven total samples contained high quality sequence data for subsequent analyses and divided into 3 cohorts: control (n = 10), muscle-invasive (n = 15) and superficial UC (n = 12). Control samples had significantly higher species evenness when compared to invasive (P = 0.031) and superficial tumors (P = 0.002). In addition, higher species richness was observed in noncancer versus cancer samples (Faith phylogenetic diversity, P < 0.05). Significantly enriched taxa were found in both control (Bacteroides, Lachnoclostridium, Burkholderiaceae) and cancer samples (Bacteroides and Faecalbacterium). Conclusion: Significantly decreased microbial community diversity was seen in the urine of patients with bladder cancer when compared to a noncancer group. Distinct taxa were noted suggesting unique microbial communities in the urine of bladder cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-621
Number of pages7
JournalUrologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Bladder cancer
  • Microbiome
  • Urine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology


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