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Cancer Microbiome; Opportunities and Challenges

[ Vol. 21 , Issue. 2 ]


S Nallanchakravarthula, Narayanappa Amruta and Chitteti Ramamurthy*   Pages 215 - 229 ( 15 )


Background: Microbe-host association has emerged as a modulator in modern medicine. Cancer and its associated host microbes are collectively referred to as the cancer microbiome. The cancer microbiome is complex, and many aspects remain unclear including metabolic plasticity, microenvironment remodeling, cellular communications, and unique signatures within the host, all of which have a vital role in homeostasis and pathogenesis of host physiology. However, the role of the microbiome in cancer initiation, progression, and therapy is still poorly understood and remains to be explored.

Objective: The objective of this review is to elucidate the role of the microbiome in cancer metabolism and the tumor microenvironment. It also focuses on the importance of therapeutic opportunities and challenges in the manipulation of the cancer microbiome.

Methods: A literature search was conducted on the role of the microbiome in cancer initiation, progression, and therapy.

Conclusion: The tumor microenvironment and cancer metabolism are significant in host-microbiome interactions. The microbiome can modulate standard cancer therapies like chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Microbiome transplantation has also been demonstrated as an effective therapy against cancer. Furthermore, the modulation of the microbiome also has potential clinical outcomes in modern medicine.


Cancer, microbiome, tumor microenvironment, metabolic plasticity, probiotics, therapeutics.


C.G. Bhakta Institute of Biotechnology, UkaTarsadia University, Maliba campus, Bardoli Surat (Dist), Gujarat, Department of Neurosurgery, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, Kusuma School of Biological Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi

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