Research Topic

The Human Microbiome and Cancer

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Despite huge advances in risk identification and the genetics of human cancers, the aetiology of some cancers remains poorly understood. Cancers of the bowel, lung, oesophagus and head and neck are amongst the most common cancers world-wide. These sites are colonized by a highly diverse microbiome of ...

Despite huge advances in risk identification and the genetics of human cancers, the aetiology of some cancers remains poorly understood. Cancers of the bowel, lung, oesophagus and head and neck are amongst the most common cancers world-wide. These sites are colonized by a highly diverse microbiome of bacteria, fungi and viruses. In recent decades, direct links between microorganisms and the aetiology of several human cancers have been characterised, including H. pylori and gastric cancer, and HPV infection and cervical and eosaphageal cancers. The emerging sciences of microbial community profiling (16S rRNA sequencing, metagenomics and metatanscriptomics) are also being used to characterise changes in microbial populations in relation to many cancers and these tools are identifying potential pathobionts or/and microbial functions in association with carcinogenesis. For example, evidence is accumulating regarding the involvement of bacteria in the aetiology of cancers of the GI tract, including Streptococcus gallolyticus and Fusobacterium nucleatum. Associations between the oral microbiota and pancreatic cancer have also been identified. In addition to identification of pathobionts, these studies may identify changes in microbial populations that increase the risk of cancer, can serve as specific microbial biomarkers of carcinogenesis and even modulate anti-cancer therapy.

This Research Topic is open to submissions in the broad subject area of the microbiome and cancer. Submissions on bacterial, fungal or viral agents and their involvement in any human cancer are invited. Studies may include, but are not limited to:
• Investigations of microbial population structure and function in relation to development of cancer, tumor stage, prognosis and response to therapy.
• Studies on intra and inter-kingdom interactions in cancers.
• Potential use of microbiome modulation or commensal cocktails in the treatment of cancer
• Analysis of specific pathobionts, their oncogenic potential and underlying mechanisms

Original research articles and review articles in rapidly moving subject areas will be considered.


Keywords: Microbiome, Pathobionts, Cancer, Oncogenesis, Biomarkers


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