Microbiome-associated biomarkers to improve anal cancer prevention in susceptible populations

Sergio Serrano-Villar


    Sergio Serrano-Villar


    Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria del Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, Spain


    Anal cancer is a common tumour in immunocompromised individuals. An accurate screening test is not yet available, which makes the prevention of this disease challenging. The relationship between the microbiome and cancer is an increasingly explored field, with growing scientific evidence. In previous studies in which the team analysed the anal bacteria of individuals with pre-cancerous lesions, they detected two molecules produced by bacteria in the anal epithelium whose values are highly predictive of anal pre-cancer and could therefore be useful as biomarkers for early detection of this type of tumour. The performance of this detection was superior to that of the reference diagnostic test, anal cytology.

    In this project, the next step the team proposes is to develop a diagnostic product based on the biomarkers identified in the previous studies. This product would improve prevention in susceptible populations and be easily accessible and implementable in health systems. This will involve the design and validation of the diagnostic product, as well as the evaluation of its efficacy, feasibility and cost-effectiveness through a randomised controlled trial in a diverse population of individuals at risk of anal cancer. In addition, the use of anal swabs will be tested as a non-invasive method allowing easy self-collection of samples. The results of the study are expected to have significant implications for the prevention and treatment of anal cancer and may guide the development of similar diagnostic products for other cancer types.


    • Manuel Ferrer
      Instituto de Catálisis y Petroleoquímica - Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (ICP-CSIC), Madrid, Spain


    Microbiome-associated biomarkers for improved anal cancer prevention


    Stage 2