Vol 70, No 4 (2020)
Review paper
Published online: 2020-07-27

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Gut microbiota and neoplastic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract

Aleksandra Pilśniak1, Urszula Dworzecka1, Ewa Otto-Buczkowska2
Nowotwory. Journal of Oncology 2020;70(4):150-152.


The term “microbiome” is used to describe the substantial number and diverse spectrum of microorganisms that inhabit the body. It plays an essential role in health conditions and diseases. Recent years have brought a further intensification of experimental studies on the impact of the microbiome on the human body, particularly with the aim of identifying and clarifying this impact. Many studies indicate that diet, lifestyle and drugs can affect the composition of the intestinal microflora, which, in turn, can modulate the development and progression of gastrointestinal tract tumors. It is suspected that the gut microbiome plays a significant role in the formation of gastrointestinal tumors. On the other hand, the role of the intestinal microflora in inhibiting the processes of oncogenesis suggests that this mechanism may be used to prevent and treat gastrointestinal cancer. Using probiotics to modify the microbiome may be beneficial in cancer therapy and may be used as a supportive treatment for classic cancer therapies such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgical treatment. Intestinal microbiome analysis can be potentially used to develop non-invasive diagnostic tests. These tests could be useful as new protective markers for colorectal cancer, or as prognostic markers and predictive markers of response to treatment, especially immunotherapy.

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