The complex interplay between inflammation, the microbiota and colorectal cancer

Gut Microbes. 2013 May-Jun;4(3):253-8. doi: 10.4161/gmic.24220. Epub 2013 Apr 2.


The microbiome has captured the attention of scientists from multiple research fields including ecology, immunology, microbiology and cancer biology. The microbial community living in the gastrointestinal tract is the most abundant and diverse niche of the human body and it is not surprising that microbiome research has predominantly focused upon this organ system. In this addendum, we summarize the latest developments in microbiome research on inflammatory bowel diseases and colorectal cancer. In addition, we highlight our recent findings that chronic intestinal inflammation modulates microbial community composition and the development of colorectal cancer. Our findings redefine the paradigm of inflammation-associated cancer by illuminating the key role of bacteria in development of colorectal cancer.

Keywords: Escherichia coli; bacterial toxin; colibactin; colon cancer; inflammation; microbiome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / immunology
  • Bacteria / pathogenicity*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / immunology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / microbiology*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / pathology*
  • Metagenome*