Exploring the role of respiratory microbiome in lung cancer: A systematic review.

Fabiana Perrone, Lorenzo Belluomini, Marco Mazzotta, Maristella Bianconi, Vincenzo Di Noia, Fiammetta Meacci, Michele Montrone, Daniele Pignataro, Arsela Prelaj, Silvia Rinaldi, Marco Russano, Giulia Sartori, Paolo Bironzo, Francesco Facchinetti, Jessica Menis, Marcello Tiseo, Domenico Galetta, Silvia Novello, Sara Pilotto

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Giving the potential contribute in cancer initiation and progression, lung microbiota represents a promising topic in cancer research, although still unexplored. We performed a systematic literature search to identify clinical studies evaluating lung microbiota composition, its correlation with lung cancer patients’ clinico-pathological features and prognosis. Of the identified 370 studies, 21 were eligible and included. Although studies were heterogeneous, lung cancer resulted to be enriched in peculiar microbial communities, with differences in composition and diversity according to clinico-pathological parameters. Few studies explored how lung microbiota influences cancer outcome. In light of these findings and borrowing the suggestions coming from gut microbiota, we speculate that respiratory microbiome may influence pathogenesis, progression and outcome of lung cancer. Taking advantage of the experience of chronical lung diseases, prospective studies should be designed to evaluate lung microbiota changes throughout any phase of lung cancer course, particularly with the advent of immunotherapy as pivotal treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103404
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Publication statusPublished - Jun 29 2021


  • Lung cancer
  • Lung microbiota
  • Prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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