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Colorectal carcinogenesis: an archetype of gut microbiota-host interaction

Alexander, James L, Scott, Alasdair J, Pouncey, Anna L, Marchesi, Julian, Kinross, James and Teare, Julian 2018. Colorectal carcinogenesis: an archetype of gut microbiota-host interaction. ecancermedicalscience 12 , 865. 10.3332/ecancer.2018.865

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Sporadic colorectal cancer (CRC) remains a major cause of worldwide mortality. Epidemiological evidence of markedly increased risk in populations that migrate to Western countries, or adopt their lifestyle, suggests that CRC is a disease whose aetiology is defined primarily by interactions between the host and his environment. The gut microbiome sits directly at this interface and is now increasingly recognised as a modulator of colorectal carcinogenesis. Bacteria such as Fusobacterium nucleatum and Escherichia coli (E. Coli) are found in abundance in patients with CRC and have been shown in experimental studies to promote neoplasia. A whole armamentarium of bacteria-derived oncogenic mechanisms has been defined, including the subversion of apoptosis and the production of genotoxins and pro-inflammatory factors. But the microbiota may also be protective: for example, they are implicated in the metabolism of dietary fibre to produce butyrate, a short chain fatty acid, which is anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic. Indeed, although our understanding of this immensely complex, highly individualised and multi-faceted relationship is expanding rapidly, many questions remain: Can we define friends and foes, and drivers and passengers? What are the critical functions of the microbiota in the context of colorectal neoplasia?

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Cancer Intelligence
ISSN: 1754-6605
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 October 2018
Date of Acceptance: 1 May 2018
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2018 12:45

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