The gut microbiome: an unexpected player in cancer immunity

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2020 Jun;62:48-52. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2019.09.016. Epub 2019 Dec 6.


Numerous independent studies link gut microbiota composition and disease and imply a causal role of select commensal microbes in disease etiology. In the gut, commensal microbiota or pathobionts secrete metabolites that underlie pathological conditions, often impacting proximal tissues and gaining access to the bloodstream. Here we focus on extrinsic and intrinsic factors affecting composition of gut microbiota and their impact on the immune system, as key drivers of anti-tumor immunity. In discussing exciting advances relevant to microbiome-tumor interaction, we note existing knowledge gaps that need to be filled to advance basic and clinical research initiatives.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Microbiota*
  • Neoplasms*