Gut microbiota composition associated with alterations in cardiorespiratory fitness and psychosocial outcomes among breast cancer survivors

  • Jesseca A. Paulsen
  • Travis S. Ptacek
  • Stephen J. Carter
  • Nianjun Liu
  • Ranjit Kumar
  • LaKeshia Hyndman
  • Elliot J. Lefkowitz
  • Casey D. Morrow
  • Laura Q. Rogers
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00520-016-3568-5

Cite this article as:
Paulsen, J.A., Ptacek, T.S., Carter, S.J. et al. Support Care Cancer (2017). doi:10.1007/s00520-016-3568-5

Abstract

Purpose

In this proof-of-concept pilot study, our purpose was to determine correlations between gut microbiota composition and alterations in cardiorespiratory fitness and psychosocial outcomes among post-primary treatment breast cancer survivors (BCS).

Methods

Composition of the gut microbiota in BCS (n = 12) was assessed at baseline (M0) and at the end of 3 months (M3) using Illumina MiSeq DNA Sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Gut microbiota composition was analyzed using the QIIME bioinformatics software and represented through diversity metrics and taxa analyses. Cardiorespiratory fitness, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and sleep dysfunction were assessed at M0 and M3 via the submaximal treadmill test, Fatigue Symptom Inventory, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, respectively.

Results

Increased fatigue interference in BCS was associated with increased mean within-sample Shannon diversity (organism richness and evenness) (p = 0.009). Weighted UniFrac analysis (shifts in taxa relative abundance) revealed significant differences in between-sample (beta) diversity for changes in fatigue interference (p = 0.01) and anxiety (p = 0.022), with a trend observed for fatigue intensity and sleep dysfunction (p < 0.1). Unweighted UniFrac analysis (shifts in taxa types) found significant beta diversity differences for cardiorespiratory fitness (p = 0.026). Prior to false discovery correction (FDR), changes in fitness, fatigue, anxiety, and sleep dysfunction were associated with the frequency of certain gut bacteria genera (e.g., Faecalibacterium, Prevotella, Bacteroides) (p < 0.05).

Conclusions

Correlations may exist between alterations in gut microbiota composition and longitudinal changes in cardiorespiratory fitness, fatigue, and anxiety in BCS. Further research examining the role of the microbiota-gut-brain axis in exercise-induced effects on psychosocial outcomes in BCS is warranted.

Keywords

Cancer Exercise Microbiome Oncology Physical activity Survivorship 

Supplementary material

520_2016_3568_MOESM1_ESM.docx (163 kb)
ESM 1(DOCX 162 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jesseca A. Paulsen
    • 1
  • Travis S. Ptacek
    • 2
  • Stephen J. Carter
    • 3
  • Nianjun Liu
    • 4
  • Ranjit Kumar
    • 2
  • LaKeshia Hyndman
    • 1
  • Elliot J. Lefkowitz
    • 2
    • 5
  • Casey D. Morrow
    • 6
  • Laura Q. Rogers
    • 3
  1. 1.School of MedicineUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA
  2. 2.Center for Clinical and Translational ScienceUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA
  3. 3.Department of Nutrition SciencesUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA
  4. 4.Department of BiostatisticsUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA
  5. 5.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA
  6. 6.Department of Cell, Developmental, and Integrative BiologyUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA