The multifaceted role of the intestinal microbiota in colon cancer

Mol Cell. 2014 Apr 24;54(2):309-20. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2014.03.039.


In recent years, our understanding of the mechanisms underlying colorectal carcinogenesis has vastly expanded. Underlying inflammation within the intestine, diet, and most recently, the gut microbiota, have been demonstrated to influence the development of colorectal cancer. However, since cancer is ultimately a genetic disease, these factors are thought to create genotoxic stress within the intestinal environment to promote genetic and epigenetic alterations leading to cancer. In this review, we will focus on how gut microbes intersect with inflammation, diet, and host genetics to influence the development of colon cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinogenesis
  • Colitis / microbiology
  • Colitis / pathology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colonic Neoplasms / microbiology*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • DNA Damage
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Inflammation
  • Intestines / microbiology*
  • Microbiota / immunology*