J Breast Cancer.  2020 Dec;23(6):579-587. 10.4048/jbc.2020.23.e60.

Potential of the Microbiome as a Biomarker for Early Diagnosis and Prognosis of Breast Cancer

  • 1School of Biomedical Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, Australia


Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women globally, and is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in female patients. The majority of breast cancer cases are of unknown cause; few are linked to genetic predisposition, and some arise sporadically. Finding the cause of these sporadic cases is an important area in cancer research. Investigations into the microbiome show links between microbiome dysbiosis and breast cancer, with possible mechanisms in the association of the microbiome and breast cancer, including estrogen metabolism and the ‘oestrobolome,’ immune regulation, propensity for obesity, and the regulation of the tumor microenvironment. This paper reviews the literature and discusses the potential implications of links between the microbiome and breast cancer, and concludes that the microbiome may have significant applications as a biomarker for breast cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and management. Further investigation is crucial, since modification of the microbiome can, at the most basic level, be achieved via dietary modification.


Breast; Carcinoma; Microbiota
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