About this Research Topic
Metagenomics is the study of the genomes of the total microbiota in a viral, bacterial, or fungal sample. Recent studies have suggested that microbe infection might be responsible for about 16.1% of all cancers. For example, many liver cancers are related to hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus infection. A large portion of cervical carcinoma is developed from human papilloma virus (HPV) infection. In addition, it has been found that the microbiota is significantly different in different types of cancers. Thus, it is critical to study the metagenomics of cancers, which might shed some light on the underlying mechanisms of cancer development as well as prioritize microbe-based cancer drug targets.
There have been a lot of metagenomics analyses on cancers. By using functional gene screening and/or sequencing analyses, cancer metagenomics aims to study a few important topics in the cancer microenvironment, including microbial diversity, microbial population structure, evolutionary relationships among microbes, functional microbes associated with cancers, collaborative relationships among microbes, and the interaction between microbes and their environment. Though still under development, there are also a few types of experimental methods recommended for validating results from metagenomics analyses. For example, qPCR could be used to validate the bacterial community and diversity. 16S RNA analysis could be used to validate cancer-associated bacterial species or clone. In a more in-depth validation, one could culture viral or bacterial strains in vitro and infect animal models like sterile mouse for further experimental analyses. However, both computational and experimental methods on metagenomics are still in their early stages and more focus should be put into this promising area.
We welcome investigators to contribute Original Research as well as Review articles on methods and clinical applications of metagenomics related to cancers. Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:
• Metagenomics methods to discover function and metabolic pathway for cancers
• Novel cancer metagenomic analysis methods
• Methods to identify the relationships between metagenomics and cancers
• Inferring novel relationships between metagenomics and cancer drugs
• Relationship between metagenome and cancer immune system
• Metagenome and immunotherapy
• Metagenome and clinical applications
• Metagenomic markers associated with cancers
• Novel feature representation scheme in cancer metagenomics research
• Novel experimental methods in validating metagenomics results
Topic Editor Jialiang Yang is Vice President of Geneis Beijing Co. Ltd. All other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regard to the Research Topic subject.
Keywords: Metagenomics, cancer, microbe, next generation sequencing, functional gene screening
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