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SABCS 2022 | Breast cancer and the microbiome

Mafalda Oliveira, MD, PhD, Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology, Barcelona, Spain, discusses the differences in the microbiome of healthy and breast cancer tissue, the interplay between gut and breast microbiome and gut bacteria with estrogen metabolizing properties. This interview took place at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) 2022 in San Antonio, TX.

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Transcript (edited for clarity)

The microbiome area is a very new area in breast cancer research. There are few data studying the relationship of microbiome composition and variation with patients outcomes.

So, in our paper, we reviewed the available data on the landscape of microbiome in breast milk, in the tissue, and also nipple aspirates in the breast. And the differences in the microbiome composition in healthy and breast cancer tissue are also analyzed in our paper...

The microbiome area is a very new area in breast cancer research. There are few data studying the relationship of microbiome composition and variation with patients outcomes.

So, in our paper, we reviewed the available data on the landscape of microbiome in breast milk, in the tissue, and also nipple aspirates in the breast. And the differences in the microbiome composition in healthy and breast cancer tissue are also analyzed in our paper.

And we also looked at data that exists that correlate the breast and gut microbiome impact in breast cancer features and also in response to treatment.

An interesting area of research right now are the estrogen metabolizing gut bacteria that may have a potential role in breast carcinogenesis.

But again, these are very preliminary data. Lots of trials are ongoing not only to study the breast and the gut microbiome and correlate it with breast cancer outcomes, but also trying to manipulate the microbiome in order to improve patient outcomes.

I think that the next years will bring us much more data because, as for now, this is all very investigational and there are no interventions that are recommended for our patients based on this knowledge of microbiome.

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