Katherine A Dunn, Emma MacDonald, Tamara MacDonald, Ketan Kulkarni

Bacterial heat shock protein genes during induction chemotherapy in pediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • General Medicine

Background: Heat shock proteins (HSP) protect cancer cells. Gastrointestinal bacteria contain HSP genes and can release extracellular vesicles which act as biological shuttles. Stress from treatment may result in a microbial community with more HSP genes, which could contribute to circulating HSP levels. Methods: The authors examined the abundance of five bacterial HSP genes pre-treatment and during induction in stool sequences from 30 pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients. Results: Decreased mean HTPG counts (p = 0.0024) pre-treatment versus induction were observed. During induction, HTPG, Shannon diversity and Bacteroidetes decreased (p = 7.5e-4; 1.1e–3; 8.6e-4), while DNAK and Firmicutes increased (p = 6.9e-3; 9.2e-4). Conclusion: Understanding microbial HSP gene community changes with treatment is the first step in determining if bacterial HSPs are important to the tumor microenvironment and leukemia treatment.

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