The Role of the Intestinal Microbiome on Colorectal Cancer Pathogenesis and its Recurrence Following Surgery

Colorectal Cancer

Vigneswaran J and Shogan BD. J Gastrointest Surg 2020 - Review.


Colorectal cancer is the result of multiple genetic mutations that drive normal cells to adenoma and then carcinoma. Recent technology has evolved to allow for an in-depth examination of the microbiota and it has become clear that many components of the intestinal microbiome play a role in promoting carcinogenesis. This review aims to describe the potential mechanisms that lead to the dysbiosis that initiates tumor formation and that influence the development of cancer recurrence following

surgical resection. We further discuss how manipulation of the microbiome may be a future novel strategy to prevent both primary and secondary colorectal cancer. While we discuss how bacterial communities and individual strains can promote cancer, the microbiome is individualized, dynamic, and complex, and our understanding of its role in carcinogenesis is still in its infancy.