Research Paper Volume 12, Issue 22 pp 23337—23350

Intratumoral levels and prognostic significance of Fusobacterium nucleatum in cervical carcinoma

Shu-Ting Huang1,2, *, , Jing Chen1,2, *, , Li-Yin Lian1,2, *, , Hui-Hua Cai1,2, , Hai-Shan Zeng1,2, , Min Zheng3, , Mu-Biao Liu1,2, ,

  • 1 Department of Gynecology, Guangdong Provincial People’s Hospital, Guangzhou, P. R. China
  • 2 Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, P. R. China
  • 3 Department of Gynecology, Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, P. R. China
* Equal contribution

Received: February 20, 2020       Accepted: September 24, 2020       Published: November 14, 2020
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2020 Huang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Growing evidence suggests that microbes can influence the onset of cancer and its consequent development. By researching samples from patients afflicted by cervical cancer, we aimed to explore the associated dynamics and prognostic value of intratumoral levels of F. nucleatum. We used qPCR to analyze tumor tissues obtained from 112 cervical cancer patients in order to characterize the levels and influences of intratumoral levels of the F. nucleatum. Especially for recurrent tissues, there was a distinct observation of higher levels of F. nucleatum in cervical cancer. Patients with high burdens of F. nucleatum intratumoral infiltration exhibited correspondingly poor rates of both overall survival and progression-free survival. Measures of the levels of F. nucleatum were found to have been reliable independent prognostic factors that could predict rates of PFS for afflicted patients (HR = 4.8, 95%CI = 1.2-18.6, P = 0.024). Notably, the levels of F. nucleatum were positively correlated with tumor differentiation. Cancer cells from patients with relatively high levels of F. nucleatum were observed to possess the characteristics of cancer stem cells (CSCs). We propose that F. nucleatum might be one potential cervical cancer diagnostic and prognostic biomarker, and these findings will help to provide a sound rationale and merit for further study of this bacterium.


ANT: adjacent non-tumor tissues; FIGO: International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics; ROC: receiver operating characteristic; OS: overall survival; PFS: progression-free survival; IHC: immune histochemistry; HR: hazard ratio; CI: confidence interval; CSCs: cancer stem cells.