Microbiota effects on cancer: from risks to therapies

Domenica Rea, Giovanni Coppola, Giuseppe Palma _, Antonio Barbieri, Antonio Luciano, Paola Del Prete, Sabrina Rossetti, Massimiliano Berretta, Gaetano Facchini, Sisto Perdonà, Maria Caterina Turco and Claudio Arra

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:17915-17927. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.24681

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Domenica Rea1,*, Giovanni Coppola1,*, Giuseppe Palma1, Antonio Barbieri1, Antonio Luciano1, Paola Del Prete2, Sabrina Rossetti3, Massimiliano Berretta4, Gaetano Facchini3, Sisto Perdonà5, Maria Caterina Turco6 and Claudio Arra1

1S.S.D Sperimentazione Animale, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, IRCCS, “Fondazione G. Pascale”, Naples, Italy

2Direzione Scientifica, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, IRCCS, “Fondazione G. Pascale”, Naples, Italy

3Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Uro-Gynaecological Oncology, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, IRCCS, “Fondazione G. Pascale”, Naples, Italy

4Department of Medical Oncology, CRO- Aviano, National Cancer Institute, Aviano, Italy

5Department of Urology, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, IRCCS, “Fondazione G. Pascale”, Naples, Italy

6Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Salerno, Baronissi, Salerno, Italy

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Giuseppe Palma, email: [email protected]

Antonio Barbieri, email: [email protected]

Keywords: gut microbiota; cancer; inflammation; probiotics; colon rectal cancer

Received: August 03, 2017    Accepted: February 27, 2018    Published: April 03, 2018


Gut microbiota, a group of 1014 bacteria, eukaryotes and virus living in gastrointestinal tract, is crucial for many physiological processes in particular plays an important role in inflammatory and immune reactions. Several internal and external factors can influence this population, and shifts in their composition, have been demonstrated to contribute and affect different diseases. During dysbiosis several bacteria related to inflammation, one of the most necessary factors in carcinogenesis; it has been shown that some bacterial strains through deregulation of different signals/pathways may affect tumor development through the production of many factors. Gut microbiota might be considered as a holistic hub point for cancer development: direct and indirect involvements have been studying in several neoplasms such as colon rectal cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma and breast cancer. This review discuss over the evidence of crosstalk between gut microbiota and cancer, its ability to modulate chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy, and the possibility that the intestinal microbial is a new target for therapeutic approaches to improve the prognosis and quality of life of cancer patients.

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