Publications by authors named "Romy Aarnoutse"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The Role of Intestinal Microbiota in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Patients Treated With Capecitabine.

Clin Colorectal Cancer 2021 Oct 17. Epub 2021 Oct 17.

GROW - School for Oncology and Developmental Biology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands; Department of Surgery, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

Background: Previous pre-clinical research has indicated that the intestinal microbiota can potentiate anti-tumour efficacy of capecitabine and that capecitabine treatment impacts intestinal microbiota composition and diversity. Using a longitudinal design, this study explores the associations between the intestinal microbiota and treatment response in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) during capecitabine treatment.

Patients And Methods: Patients with mCRC treated with capecitabine were prospectively enrolled in a multicentre cohort study. Patients collected a faecal sample and completed a questionnaire before, during, and after three cycles of capecitabine. Several clinical characteristics, including tumour response, toxicity and antibiotic use were recorded. Intestinal microbiota were analysed by amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA V4 gene-region.

Results: Thirty-three patients were included. After three cycles of capecitabine, six patients (18%) achieved a partial response, 25 (76%) showed stable disease, and one (3%) experienced progressive disease. Of the 90 faecal samples were collected. Microbial diversity (α-diversity), community structure (β-diversity), and bacterial abundance on phylum and genus level were not significantly different between responders and non-responders and were not significantly affected by three cycles of capecitabine.

Conclusion: This is the first clinical study with longitudinal intestinal microbiota sampling in mCRC patients that explores the role of the intestinal microbiota during treatment with capecitabine. Intestinal microbiota composition and diversity before, during, and after three cycles of capecitabine were not associated with response in this study population. Capecitabine did not induce significant changes in the microbiota composition and diversity during the treatment period. Individual effects of antibiotics during capecitabine treatment were observed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clcc.2021.10.004DOI Listing
October 2021

Gut microbiota and short-chain fatty acid alterations in cachectic cancer patients.

J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle 2021 Oct 5. Epub 2021 Oct 5.

Department of Surgery, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Background: Cancer cachexia is characterized by a negative energy balance, muscle and adipose tissue wasting, insulin resistance, and systemic inflammation. Because of its strong negative impact on prognosis and its multifactorial nature that is still not fully understood, cachexia remains an important challenge in the field of cancer treatment. Recent animal studies indicate that the gut microbiota is involved in the pathogenesis and manifestation of cancer cachexia, but human data are lacking. The present study investigates gut microbiota composition, short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), and inflammatory parameters in human cancer cachexia.

Methods: Faecal samples were prospectively collected in patients (N = 107) with pancreatic cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, or ovarian cancer. Household partners (N = 76) of the patients were included as healthy controls with similar diet and environmental conditions. Patients were classified as cachectic if they lost >5% body weight in the last 6 months. Gut microbiota composition was analysed by sequencing of the 16S rRNA V4 gene region. Faecal SCFA levels were quantified by gas chromatography. Faecal calprotectin was assessed with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Serum C-reactive protein and leucocyte counts were retrieved from medical records.

Results: Cachexia prevalence was highest in pancreatic cancer (66.7%), followed by ovarian cancer (25%), lung cancer (20.8%), and breast cancer (17.3%). Microbial α-diversity was not significantly different between cachectic cancer patients (N = 33), non-cachectic cancer patients (N = 74), or healthy controls (N = 76) (species richness P = 0.31; Shannon effective index P = 0.46). Community structure (β-diversity) tended to differ between these groups (P = 0.053), although overall differences were subtle and no clear clustering of samples was observed. Proteobacteria (P < 0.001), an unknown genus from the Enterobacteriaceae family (P < 0.01), and Veillonella (P < 0.001) were more abundant among cachectic cancer patients. Megamonas (P < 0.05) and Peptococcus (P < 0.001) also showed differential abundance. Faecal levels of all SCFA tended to be lower in cachectic cancer patients, but only acetate concentrations were significantly reduced (P < 0.05). Faecal calprotectin levels were positively correlated with the abundance of Peptococcus, unknown Enterobacteriaceae, and Veillonella. We also identified several correlations and interactions between clinical and microbial parameters.

Conclusions: This clinical study provided the first insights into the alterations of gut microbiota composition and SCFA levels that occur in cachectic cancer patients and how they are related to inflammatory parameters. These results pave the way for further research examining the role of the gut microbiota in cancer cachexia and its potential use as therapeutic target.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcsm.12804DOI Listing
October 2021

Intestinal microbiota influences clinical outcome and side effects of early breast cancer treatment.

Cell Death Differ 2021 Sep 7;28(9):2778-2796. Epub 2021 May 7.

Gustave Roussy Cancer Center, Villejuif, France.

The prognosis of early breast cancer (BC) relies on cell autonomous and immune parameters. The impact of the intestinal microbiome on clinical outcome has not yet been evaluated. Shotgun metagenomics was used to determine the composition of the fecal microbiota in 121 specimens from 76 early BC patients, 45 of whom were paired before and after chemotherapy. These patients were enrolled in the CANTO prospective study designed to record the side effects associated with the clinical management of BC. We analyzed associations between baseline or post-chemotherapy fecal microbiota and plasma metabolomics with BC prognosis, as well as with therapy-induced side effects. We examined the clinical relevance of these findings in immunocompetent mice colonized with BC patient microbiota that were subsequently challenged with histo-compatible mouse BC and chemotherapy. We conclude that specific gut commensals that are overabundant in BC patients compared with healthy individuals negatively impact BC prognosis, are modulated by chemotherapy, and may influence weight gain and neurological side effects of BC therapies. These findings obtained in adjuvant and neoadjuvant settings warrant prospective validation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41418-021-00784-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8408230PMC
September 2021

Exploring the Potential of Breast Microbiota as Biomarker for Breast Cancer and Therapeutic Response.

Am J Pathol 2021 06 10;191(6):968-982. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

GROW-School for Oncology and Developmental Biology, Maastricht University Medical Center+, Maastricht, the Netherlands; Department of Surgery, Maastricht University Medical Center+, Maastricht, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

Breast cancer tissue contains its own unique microbiota. Emerging preclinical data indicates that breast microbiota dysbiosis contributes to breast cancer initiation and progression. Furthermore, the breast microbiota may be a promising biomarker for treatment selection and prognosis. Differences in breast microbiota composition have been found between breast cancer subtypes and disease severities that may contribute to immunosuppression, enabling tumor cells to evade immune destruction. Interactions between breast microbiota, gut microbiota, and immune system are proposed, all forming potential targets to increase therapeutic efficacy. In addition, because the gut microbiota affects the host immune system and systemic availability of estrogen and bile acids known to influence tumor biology, gut microbiota modulation could be used to manipulate breast microbiota composition. Identifying breast and gut microbial compositions that respond positively to certain anticancer therapeutics could significantly reduce cancer burden. Additional research is needed to unravel the complexity of breast microbiota functioning and its interactions with the gut and the immune system. In this review, developments in the understanding of breast microbiota and its interaction with the immune system and the gut microbiota are discussed. Furthermore, the biomarker potential of breast microbiota is evaluated in conjunction with possible strategies to target microbiota in order to improve breast cancer treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajpath.2021.02.020DOI Listing
June 2021

The Clinical Link between Human Intestinal Microbiota and Systemic Cancer Therapy.

Int J Mol Sci 2019 Aug 25;20(17). Epub 2019 Aug 25.

GROW-School for Oncology and Developmental Biology, Maastricht University Medical Center+, 6229 ER Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Clinical interest in the human intestinal microbiota has increased considerably. However, an overview of clinical studies investigating the link between the human intestinal microbiota and systemic cancer therapy is lacking. This systematic review summarizes all clinical studies describing the association between baseline intestinal microbiota and systemic cancer therapy outcome as well as therapy-related changes in intestinal microbiota composition. A systematic literature search was performed and provided 23 articles. There were strong indications for a close association between the intestinal microbiota and outcome of immunotherapy. Furthermore, the development of chemotherapy-induced infectious complications seemed to be associated with the baseline microbiota profile. Both chemotherapy and immunotherapy induced drastic changes in gut microbiota composition with possible consequences for treatment efficacy. Evidence in the field of hormonal therapy was very limited. Large heterogeneity concerning study design, study population, and methods used for analysis limited comparability and generalization of results. For the future, longitudinal studies investigating the predictive ability of baseline intestinal microbiota concerning treatment outcome and complications as well as the potential use of microbiota-modulating strategies in cancer patients are required. More knowledge in this field is likely to be of clinical benefit since modulation of the microbiota might support cancer therapy in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms20174145DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6747354PMC
August 2019

Hybrid F-FDG PET/MRI might improve locoregional staging of breast cancer patients prior to neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 2017 Oct 10;44(11):1796-1805. Epub 2017 Jun 10.

GROW - School for Oncology and Developmental Biology, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Purpose: Our purpose in this study was to assess the added clinical value of hybrid F-FDG-PET/MRI compared to conventional imaging for locoregional staging in breast cancer patients undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC).

Methods: In this prospective study, primary invasive cT2-4 N0 or cT1-4 N+ breast cancer patients undergoing NAC were included. A PET/MRI breast protocol was performed before treatment. MR images were evaluated by a breast radiologist, blinded for PET images. PET images were evaluated by a nuclear physician. Afterwards, a combined PET/MRI report was written. PET/MRI staging was compared to conventional imaging, i.e., mammography, ultrasound and MRI. The proportion of patients with a modified treatment plan based on PET/MRI findings was analyzed.

Results: A total of 40 patients was included. PET/MRI was of added clinical value in 20.0% (8/40) of patients, changing the treatment plan in 10% and confirming the malignancy of suspicious lesions on MRI in another 10%. In seven (17.5%) patients radiotherapy fields were extended because of additional or affirmative PET/MRI findings being lymph node metastases (n = 5) and sternal bone metastases (n = 2). In one (2.5%) patient radiotherapy fields were reduced because of fewer lymph node metastases on PET/MRI compared to conventional imaging. Interestingly, all treatment changes were based on differences in number of lymph nodes suspicious for metastasis or number of distant metastasis, whereas differences in intramammary tumor extent were not observed.

Conclusion: Prior to NAC, PET/MRI shows promising results for locoregional staging compared to conventional imaging, changing the treatment plan in 10% of patients and potentially replacing PET/CT or tissue sampling in another 10% of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00259-017-3745-xDOI Listing
October 2017
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