Association between Fusobacterium nucleatum and patient prognosis in metastatic colon cancer

Jii Bum Lee, Kyung A. Kim, Ho Yeon Cho, Doo A. Kim, Won Kyu Kim, Dongeun Yong, Hyukmin Lee, Sang Sun Yoon, Dai Hoon Han, Yoon Dae Han, Soonmyung Paik, Mi Jang, Han Sang Kim, Joong Bae Ahn

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Recent evidence suggests that Fusobacterium nucleatum (Fn) is associated with the development and progression of colorectal cancer. We aimed to delineate the clinical implications of Fn in metastatic colon cancer. We performed quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) using DNA samples from synchronous metastatic colon cancer patients with either formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) archival primary site tumor samples or fresh colon tissues. Progression-free survival (PFS)1 and PFS2 were defined as PFS of first- and second-line palliative settings. qPCR for Fn was successfully performed using 112 samples (FFPE, n = 61; fresh tissue, n = 51). Forty-one and 68 patients had right-sided and left-sided colon cancer, respectively. Patients with Fn enriched right-sided colon cancers had shorter PFS1 (9.7 vs. 11.2 months) than the other subgroups (HR 3.54, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.05–11.99; P = 0.04). Fn positive right-sided colon was also associated with shorter PFS2 (3.7 vs. 6.7 months; HR 2.34, 95% CI 0.69–7.91; P = 0.04). In the univariate analysis, PFS1 was affected by differentiation and Fn positive right-sided colon cancer. The multivariate analysis showed that differentiation (HR 2.68, 95% CI 1.40–5.14, P = 0.01) and Fn positive right-sided colon (HR 0.40, 95% CI 0.18–0.88, P = 0.02) were associated with PFS1. Fn enrichment in right sided colon was not associated with overall survival (OS). Fn enrichment has significantly worse prognosis in terms of PFS1 and PFS2 in patients with right-sided metastatic colon cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20263
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by a Grant from the Handok Inc., Seoul, Korea, a Grant funded by Korean Society of Medical Oncology, and a research grant by the Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of medicine, Seoul, Korea. This work was also supported in part by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant funded by the Korea Government (MSIT) (Nos. 2019R1C1C1006709, 2018R1A5A2025079, 2020M3F7A1094093, and 2021R1I1A1A01057446), a grant from Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2019R1A6A3A01096180, 2020R1F1A1066973), a Grant from the Korea Health Technology Research and Development Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (No. KHIDIHI19C1015010020), and Severance Hospital Research fund for Clinical excellence (SHRC) (C-2020-0032 and C-2021-0002).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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