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Clinical Implications of the Associations Between Intestinal Microbiome and Colorectal Cancer Progression

Authors Chen Y, Yang Y, Gu J

Received 26 November 2019

Accepted for publication 3 April 2020

Published 9 June 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 4117—4128


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Xueqiong Zhu

Yongkang Chen,1 Yong Yang,1 Jin Gu1– 3

1Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery III, Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Translational Research (Ministry of Education), Peking University Cancer Hospital & Institute, Beijing 100142, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Peking University Shougang Hospital, Beijing 100144, People’s Republic of China; 3Peking-Tsinghua Center for Life Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100142, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Jin Gu Tel +86-010-88196238

Abstract: Intestinal microbiome influences host immunity and several diseases, including cancer, in their areas of colonization. Microbial dysbiosis and over-colonization of specific microbes within the colorectal mucosa can impact the progress of carcinogenesis. Investigations initially focused on the mechanisms by which the intestinal microbiome initiates or promotes the development of colorectal cancer, including DNA damage, induction of chromosomal instability, and regulation of host immune responses. Some studies on the clinicopathological features have reported that specific strains present at high abundance are associated with advanced stage and positive lymph nodes in colorectal cancer. In this context, we reviewed the relationship between the intestinal microbiome and the clinical features (patient age, disease staging, prognosis, etc.) of patients with colorectal cancer, and evaluated the potential pathogenesis caused by the intestinal microbiome in disease progress. This article assessed whether changes in distinct species or strains occur during the period of cancer advancement. Overall, age grouping does not bring about significant differences in the constitution of microbiome. The disease stages show their distinct distribution in some species and strains. Oncogenic species are generally enriched in patients with poor prognosis, including low infiltration of CD3+ T cells, poor differentiation, widespread invasion, high microsatellite instability, CpG island methylator phenotype, BRAF mutation, short overall survival, and disease-free survival. The implications of those changes we discussed may assist in comprehensive understanding of the tumorigenesis of colorectal cancer from a microbiological perspective, finding potential biomarkers for colorectal cancer.

Keywords: colorectal cancer, intestinal microbiome, patient age, disease stage, prognosis

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