The Intestinal Microbiota in Colorectal Cancer

Cancer Cell. 2018 Jun 11;33(6):954-964. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2018.03.004. Epub 2018 Apr 12.


Experimental evidence from the past years highlights a key role for the intestinal microbiota in inflammatory and malignant gastrointestinal diseases. Diet exhibits a strong impact on microbial composition and provides risk for developing colorectal carcinoma (CRC). Large metagenomic studies in human CRC associated microbiome signatures with the colorectal adenoma-carcinoma sequence, suggesting a fundamental role of the intestinal microbiota in the evolution of gastrointestinal malignancy. Basic science established a critical function for the intestinal microbiota in promoting tumorigenesis. Further studies are needed to decipher the mechanisms of tumor promotion and microbial co-evolution in CRC, which may be exploited therapeutically in the future.

Keywords: bacteria; cancer; immunity; inflammation; microbiota.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinogenesis*
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic*
  • Colon / microbiology
  • Colon / pathology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Rectum / microbiology
  • Rectum / pathology
  • Signal Transduction