American Association for Cancer Research
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Supplementary Data File from Microbiota- and Radiotherapy-Induced Gastrointestinal Side-Effects (MARS) Study: A Large Pilot Study of the Microbiome in Acute and Late-Radiation Enteropathy

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posted on 2023-03-31, 21:04 authored by Miguel Reis Ferreira, H. Jervoise N. Andreyev, Kabir Mohammed, Lesley Truelove, Sharon M. Gowan, Jia Li, Sarah L. Gulliford, Julian R. Marchesi, David P. Dearnaley

Data used in study analyses


Cancer Research UK

Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust

Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia



Radiotherapy is important in managing pelvic cancers. However, radiation enteropathy may occur and can be dose limiting. The gut microbiota may contribute to the pathogenesis of radiation enteropathy. We hypothesized that the microbiome differs between patients with and without radiation enteropathy.Experimental Design: Three cohorts of patients (n = 134) were recruited. The early cohort (n = 32) was followed sequentially up to 12 months post-radiotherapy to assess early radiation enteropathy. Linear mixed models were used to assess microbiota dynamics. The late cohort (n = 87) was assessed cross-sectionally to assess late radiation enteropathy. The colonoscopy cohort compared the intestinal mucosa microenvironment in patients with radiation enteropathy (cases, n = 9) with healthy controls (controls, n = 6). Fecal samples were obtained from all cohorts. In the colonoscopy cohort, intestinal mucosa samples were taken. Metataxonomics (16S rRNA gene) and imputed metataxonomics (Piphillin) were used to characterize the microbiome. Clinician- and patient-reported outcomes were used for clinical characterization. In the acute cohort, we observed a trend for higher preradiotherapy diversity in patients with no self-reported symptoms (P = 0.09). Dynamically, diversity decreased less over time in patients with rising radiation enteropathy (P = 0.05). A consistent association between low bacterial diversity and late radiation enteropathy was also observed, albeit nonsignificantly. Higher counts of Clostridium IV, Roseburia, and Phascolarctobacterium significantly associated with radiation enteropathy. Homeostatic intestinal mucosa cytokines related to microbiota regulation and intestinal wall maintenance were significantly reduced in radiation enteropathy [IL7 (P = 0.05), IL12/IL23p40 (P = 0.03), IL15 (P = 0.05), and IL16 (P = 0.009)]. IL15 inversely correlated with counts of Roseburia and Propionibacterium. The microbiota presents opportunities to predict, prevent, or treat radiation enteropathy. We report the largest clinical study to date into associations of the microbiota with acute and late radiation enteropathy. An altered microbiota associates with early and late radiation enteropathy, with clinical implications for risk assessment, prevention, and treatment of radiation-induced side-effects.See related commentary by Lam et al., p. 6280