Logo Istituto Affiliato

Institute of Oncology Research (IOR),

affiliated to USI,

run by an


foundation with the same name


Research Areas - Microbiota

Bacteria can synthesize Andtrogen


This lab core unit aims to understand the mechanism controlling host-microbiome interactions in prostate cancer. The intestine is inhabited by trillions of commensal bacteria that cohabit and produce a high load of bacterial products essential for our lives. Perturbation that modifies this homeostatic equilibrium (medications, diet, inflammation, genetics, etc.) can alter microbial organization. We recently discovered that androgen deprivation therapy, a standard of care in prostate cancer, selects for a peculiar "unfavourable" microbiota capable of synthesizing androgens, minimizing the effect of the therapy (Pernigoni, Science 2021). The microbiota can be considered a novel mechanism of resistance in prostate cancer. This core unit is now investigating other crucial aspects of microbiota in prostate cancer, finding treatments that can shift its composition towards a "favourable" one.