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Interactive association between gut microbiota and thyroid cancer.

Endocrinology 2023 December 6
CONTEXT: The association between the gut microbiota and thyroid cancer remains controversial.

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to systematically investigate the interactive causal relationships between the abundance and metabolism pathways of gut microbiota and thyroid cancer.

METHODS: We leveraged genome-wide association studies for the abundance of 211 microbiota taxa from the MiBioGen study (N = 18,340), 205 microbiota metabolism pathways from the Dutch Microbiome Project (N = 7738), and thyroid cancer from the Global Biobank Meta-analysis Initiative (N cases = 6699 and N participants = 1,620,354). We performed a bidirectional Mendelian randomization (MR) to investigate the causality from microbiota taxa and metabolism pathways to thyroid cancer, and vice versa. We performed a systematic review of previous observational studies and compared MR results with observational findings.

RESULTS: Eight taxa and twelve metabolism pathways had causal effects on thyroid cancer, where RuminococcaceaeUCG004 genus (P = 0.001), Streptococcaceae family (P = 0.016), Olsenella genus (P = 0.029), ketogluconate metabolism pathway (P = 0.003), pentose phosphate pathway (P = 0.016), and L-arginine degradation II in AST pathway (P = 0.0007) were supported by sensitivity analyses. Conversely, thyroid cancer had causal effects on three taxa and two metabolism pathways, where the Holdemanella genus (P = 0.015) was supported by sensitivity analyses. The Proteobacteria phylum, Streptococcaceae family, Ruminococcus2 genus, and Holdemanella genus were significantly associated with thyroid cancer in both the systematic review and MR, while the other 121 significant taxa in observational results were not supported by MR.

DISCUSSIONS: These findings implicated the potential role of host-microbiota crosstalk in thyroid cancer, while the discrepancy among observational studies calls for further investigations.

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