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Table 2 Studies investigated interactions between the gut microbiome and radiotherapy toxicity

From: Radiotherapy and the gut microbiome: facts and fiction

Study Study subjects Treatment Bacterial identification Key findings
Manichanh et al. [15] 10 patients undergoing pelvic RT Pelvic RT 45–50 Gy/25 fractions/5 weeks 16 s RNA Patients exhibiting diarrhea showed a progressive modification in microbial diversity
Nam et al. [16] 9 patients with gynecological cancer, data of 6 healthy controls Pelvic RT 50.4 Gy/25 fractions/5 weeks 16 s RNA Most patient suffered diarrhea symptom with dramatic change of gut microbial community after radiotherapy
Wang et al. [17] 20 patients undergoing pelvic cancer radiotherapy, 2 sequential stool samples were collected before and just after radiotherapy Pelvic RT 50.4 Gy/ 25 fractions/5 weeks 16 s RNA Microbial diversity, richness, and the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio were significantly altered prior to radiotherapy in patients who later developed diarrhea
Mitra et al. [18] 35 patients with locally advanced cervical cancer Definitive radiation therapy, including external beam RT and brachytherapy 16 s RNA Patients with high toxicity demonstrated different compositional changes during CRT in addition to compositional differences in Clostridia species
Gerassy-Vainberg et al. [51] Female C57BL/6 J mice 4 fractions of 550 cGy with 24 h intervals 16 s RNA Adherent microbiota from RP differed from those in uninvolved segments and was associated with tissue damage
Goudarzi et al. [52] C57BL/6 J male mice A whole-body dose of 0, 5 or 12 Gy X rays using an X-RAD 320 X-ray irradiator 16 s RNA and metabolomics Statistically significant changes in the microbial-derived products such as pipecolic acid, glutaconic acid, urobilinogen and homogentisic acid
Riehl et al. [57] FVB/N female mice and C57BL/6Jx129 COX-12/2, COX-22/2 mice 14 Gy total body at 0.96 cGy/min Metabolomics Lipopolysaccharide is radioprotective in the mouse intestine through a prostaglandin-dependent pathway
Riehl et al. [58] C57BL/6 mice 12 Gy total body gamma irradiation Metabolomics TNFR1 and COX-2 expression to subepithelial fibroblasts plays an intermediate role in LPS-induced radioprotection in the intestine
Egan et al. [59] Gene-targeted mice 8 Gy gamma irradiation Metatranscriptomics Selective preactivation of NF-kappa B through IKK in intestinal epithelial cells could provide a therapeutic modality that allows higher doses of radiation to be tolerated during cancer RT
  1. RT radiotherapy