Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Endometrial Cancer: A Scoping Review of the Literature on Gut Microbiota
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Abstract: Gut dysbiosis has been associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometrial cancer (EC) but no studies have investigated whether gut dysbiosis may explain the increased endometrial cancer risk in polycystic ovary syndrome. The aim of this scoping review is to evaluate the extent and nature of published studies on the gut microbiota in polycystic ovary syndrome and endometrial cancer and attempt to find any similarities between the composition of the microbiota. We searched for publications ranging from the years 2016 to 2022, due to the completion date of the ‘Human Microbiome Project’ in 2016. We obtained 200 articles by inputting keywords such as ‘gut microbiome’, ‘gut microbiota’, ‘gut dysbiosis’, ‘PCOS’, and ‘endometrial cancer’ into search engines such as PubMed and Scopus. Of the 200 identified in our initial search, we included 25 articles in our final review after applying the exclusion and inclusion criteria. Although the literature is growing in this field, we did not identify enough published studies to investigate whether gut dysbiosis may explain the increased EC risk in PCOS. Within the studies identified, we were unable to identify any consistent patterns of the microbiome similarly present in studies on women with PCOS compared with women with EC. Although we found that the phylum Firmicutes was similarly decreased in women with PCOS and studies on women with EC, there was however significant variability within the studies identified making it highly likely that this may have arisen by chance. Further research pertaining to molecular and microbiological mechanisms in relation to the gut microbiome is needed to elucidate a greater understanding of its contribution to the pathophysiology of endometrial cancer in patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome.