About this Research Topic
The human microbiota is now known to play a vast role in human tumor development and individuals’ response to cancer treatment. The human microbiota in its holistic form, can therefore be viewed as an essential part of the ‘metaorganism’ and treated as a new important objective in the field of personalized medicine.
The most recent release of statistics from the National Cancer Institute indicates that cancer remains among the leading causes of mortality worldwide, and that the population burden of the disease keeps increasing. The growth of the cancer epidemic calls for modern targeted therapies to be adopted as common standards of care. Indeed, tumor-targeting gene and immunotherapies, in combination with extensive molecular testing, are proving promising in facing the challenge of the inherent molecular variability of cancer lesions. The best indicator of the progress accredited to the precision and personalized cancer therapy is the change in age-adjusted mortality rates, which steadily dropped between 2006 and 2015. Despite encouraging results, the outcomes of cancer treatment are still incredibly variable, necessitating a search for the confounding factors impacting therapy outcomes, and suggesting that ‘personalized therapy’ is yet to become fully personalized.
In 2007, 130 years after the introduction of the term ’biocenosis’, humans were beginning to be viewed as ‘metaorganisms’, due to their close symbiotic relationship with the intestinal microbiota. Later, the discovery of tumor-associated bacterial dwellers revealed an even higher fusion of microbiota and the human host, accentuating the spatial proximity of bacteria cells to the very target of targeted cancer therapy. This Research Topic therefore aims to further explore the place of human microbiota in the domain of personalized cancer treatment.
The Research Topic welcomes contributions in the form of Original Research Articles, Reviews, and Mini-Reviews that provide insights into:
• The human microbiota as a risk factor of tumorigenesis.
• Tumors as ecological niches.
• Tumor-associated bacteria, a metabolic adaptation of bacteria to the tumor microenvironment, and the mechanisms that facilitate environmental fitness.
• The origin of bacteria colonizing different tumor types.
• The effect of microbiota on the pharmacokinetics of chemotherapy drugs; influence on dosing, benefits, and adverse effects.
• Bacteria and bacteria-derived biomarkers predictive for the success of chemotherapy and the checkpoint blockade immunotherapy.
• The interventions designed to achieve the state of microbiota favorable for positive outcomes of cancer therapy. Interventions may include but are not limited to antibiotics treatment; fecal microbiota transplantation; bacterial, dietary, or phage.
Dr. Porokyo is employed by Covance Inc. Dr. Ilina is employed by Lytech Co. Ltd. The other topic editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic theme.
Keywords: Microbiome, Metaorganism, Personalized Cancer Treatment, Microbiome Bacterial Biomarkers, Tumor-Associated Bacteria, Intestinal Microbiota, Chemotherapy, Immunotherapy, Checkpoint Blockade, Bacteriotherapy, Probiotics, Prebiotics, Dietary Supplements, Bacteriophages
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