A new approach by investigating the intra-tumoral microbiome raised great interest because they may influence the host immune response and natural history of the disease. However, previous studies on the intra-tumoral microbiome of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) were mostly based on examining the formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor specimens. This study aims to investigate the feasibility of using endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle biopsy (EUS-FNB) as a complementary procedure of surgical biopsy to obtain adequate fresh pancreatic cancer tissue for intra-tumoral microbial research.
Materials and methods:
This was a prospective pilot study performed at a single tertiary referral center. We obtained pancreatic cancer tissue by EUS-FNB and surgical biopsy, respectively. We amplified the V3-V4 hyper-variable region of bacterial 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) genes, constructed a pair-end library, and performed high-throughput sequencing.
From August 2020 to November 2020, nine eligible patients with PDAC were enrolled in this study. The intra-tumoral microbiome profile was successfully generated from the PDAC cancer tissue obtained by EUS-FNB as well as by surgical biopsy. There was no significant difference in intra-tumoral alpha-diversity or bacterial taxonomic composition between tissues obtained by EUS-FNB and by surgical biopsy.
EUS-FNB can collect sufficient fresh cancer tissue for microbiome analyses without complication. The intra-tumoral microbiome profile in tissues obtained by EUS-FNB had similar alpha-diversity and taxonomic profiles with those obtained by surgical biopsy. It implicated, except for surgical biopsy, EUS-FNB can be another valid and valuable tool for studying intra-tumoral microbiome in patients with resectable and unresectable PDAC.