Background: Although recent studies have indicated that imbalance in the respiratory microbiome composition is linked to several chronic respiratory diseases, the association between the lung microbiome and lung cancer has not been extensively studied. Conficting reports of individual studies on respiratory microbiome alterations in lung cancer complicate the matter for specifying how the lung microbiome is linked to lung cancer. Consequently, as the frst meta-analysis on this topic, we integrate publicly available 16S rRNA gene sequence data on lung tissue samples of lung cancer patients to identify bacterial taxa which difer consistently between case and control groups.

Results: The fndings of the current study suggest that the relative abundance of several bacterial taxa including Actinobacteria phylum, Corynebacteriaceae and Halomonadaceae families, and Corynebacterium, Lachnoanaerobaculum, and Halomonas genera is signifcantly decreased (p < 0.05) in lung tumor tissues of lung cancer patients in comparison with tumor-adjacent normal tissues.

Conclusions: Despite the underlying need for scrutinizing the fndings further, the present study lays the groundwork for future research and adds to our limited understanding of the key role of the lung microbiome and its complex interaction with lung cancer. More data on demographic factors and tumor tissue types would help establish a greater degree of accuracy in characterizing the lung microbial community which accords with subtypes and stages of the disease and fully capturing the changes of the lung microbiome in lung cancer.

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