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Fecal Microbial Community Composition in Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Patients Is Associated with an Inflammatory State.


The capacity of the human microbiome to modulate inflammation in the context of cancer is becoming increasingly clear. Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are chronic hematologic malignancies in which inflammation plays a key role in disease initiation, progression, and symptomatology. To better understand the composition of the gut microbiome in patients with MPN, triplicate fecal samples were collected from 25 MPN patients and 25 non-MPN controls. Although most of the variance between the microbial community compositions could be attributed to the individual (permutational analysis of variance [PERMANOVA], R2 = 0.92, P = 0.001), 1.7% of the variance could be attributed to disease status (MPN versus non-MPN). When a more detailed analysis was performed, significantly fewer reads mapping to a species of Phascolarctobacterium, a microbe previously associated with reduced inflammation, were found in MPNs. Further, our data revealed an association between Parabacteroides and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), an inflammatory cytokine elevated in MPNs. Taken together, our results indicate a significant difference in the microbiome of MPN patients compared to non-MPN controls, and we identify specific species which may have a role in the chronic inflammation central to this disease. IMPORTANCE MPNs are chronic blood cancers in which inflammation plays a key role in disease initiation, progression, and symptomatology. The gut microbiome modulates normal blood development and inflammation and may also impact the development and manifestation of blood cancers. Therefore, the microbiome may be an important modulator of inflammation in MPN and could potentially be leveraged therapeutically in this disease. However, the relationship between the gut microbiome and MPNs has not been defined. Therefore, we performed an evaluation of the MPN microbiome, comparing the microbiomes of MPN patients with healthy donors and between MPN patients with various states of disease.

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