Gut microbiota and the paradox of cancer immunotherapy

Front Immunol. 2014 Apr 7:5:157. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2014.00157. eCollection 2014.


It is recently shown that beneficial environmental microbes stimulate integrated immune and neuroendocrine factors throughout the body, consequently modulating regulatory T-lymphocyte phenotypes, maintaining systemic immune balance, and determining the fate of preneoplastic lesions toward regression while sustaining whole body good health. Stimulated by a gut microbiota-centric systemic homeostasis hypothesis, we set out to explore the influence of the gut microbiome to explain the paradoxical roles of regulatory T-lymphocytes in cancer development and growth. This paradigm shift places cancer prevention and treatment into a new broader context of holobiont engineering to cultivate a tumor-suppressive macroenvironment.

Keywords: cancer immunotherapy; inflammation and cancer; probiotic bacteria; regulatory T-cells; tumor macroenvironment.

Publication types

  • Review