Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

The Important Role of Breast Microbiota in Breast Cancer

Version 1 : Received: 20 October 2020 / Approved: 21 October 2020 / Online: 21 October 2020 (12:51:23 CEST)

How to cite: Su, K.; Lee, W.; Balasubramaniam, V. The Important Role of Breast Microbiota in Breast Cancer. Preprints 2020, 2020100437. Su, K.; Lee, W.; Balasubramaniam, V. The Important Role of Breast Microbiota in Breast Cancer. Preprints 2020, 2020100437.


One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer (BC) in their lifetime, resulting in over 2 million cases annually. BC is the most common cancer among women. Unfortunately, the etiology of majority of cases remains unknown. Recently, evidence has shown that the human microbiota plays an important role in health and disease. Intriguingly, studies have revealed the presence of microorganisms in human breast tissue, which was previously presumed to be sterile. Next-generation sequencing technologies have paved way for the investigation of breast microbiota, uncovering bacterial signatures that are associated with BC. Some of the bacterial species were found to possess pro-carcinogenic and/or anti-carcinogenic properties, suggesting that the breast microbiota has potentially crucial roles in maintenance of breast health. In this review, we summarize the recent findings on breast tissue microbiota and its interplay with BC. Bacterial signatures identified via next-generation sequencing as well as their impact on breast carcinogenesis and cancer therapies are reviewed. Correlation of breast tissue microbiota and other factors, such as geographical and racial differences, in BC is discussed. Additionally, we discuss the future directions of research on breast microbiota as well as its potential role in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of BC.


breast cancer; microbiota; bacteria; dysbiosis; pro-carcinogenic; anti-carcinogenic; genetics; next-generation sequencing; cancer treatments; cancer prevention


Biology and Life Sciences, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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