Gastrointestinal malignancy and the microbiome

Maria T. Abreu, Richard M. Peek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

187 Scopus citations


Microbial species participate in the genesis of a substantial number of malignancies - in conservative estimates, at least 15% of all cancer cases are attributable to infectious agents. Little is known about the contribution of the gastrointestinal microbiome to the development of malignancies. Resident microbes can promote carcinogenesis by inducing inflammation, increasing cell proliferation, altering stem cell dynamics, and producing metabolites such as butyrate, which affect DNA integrity and immune regulation. Studies in human beings and rodent models of cancer have identified effector species and relationships among members of the microbial community in the stomach and colon that increase the risk for malignancy. Strategies to manipulate the microbiome, or the immune response to such bacteria, could be developed to prevent or treat certain gastrointestinal cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1534-1546.e3
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 2014


  • Bacteria
  • Cancer
  • Inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'Gastrointestinal malignancy and the microbiome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this