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Review Article

Host Microbiomes in Tumor Precision Medicine: How far are we?

[ Vol. 29 , Issue. 18 ]


Federica D’Amico, Monica Barone, Teresa Tavella, Simone Rampelli, Patrizia Brigidi and Silvia Turroni*   Pages 3202 - 3230 ( 29 )


The human gut microbiome has received a crescendo of attention in recent years due to the countless influences on human pathophysiology, including cancer. Research on cancer and anticancer therapy is constantly looking for new hints to improve the response to therapy while reducing the risk of relapse. In this scenario, the gut microbiome and the plethora of microbial-derived metabolites are considered a new opening in the development of innovative anticancer treatments for a better prognosis. This narrative review summarizes the current knowledge on the role of the gut microbiome in the onset and progression of cancer, as well as in response to chemo-immunotherapy. Recent findings regarding the tumor microbiome and its implications for clinical practice are also commented on. Current microbiome-based intervention strategies (i.e., prebiotics, probiotics, live biotherapeutics and fecal microbiota transplantation) are then discussed, along with key shortcomings, including a lack of long-term safety information in patients who are already severely compromised by standard treatments. The implementation of bioinformatic tools applied to microbiomics and other omics data, such as machine learning, has an enormous potential to push research in the field, enabling the prediction of health risk and therapeutic outcomes, for a truly personalized precision medicine.


Gut microbiome, microbial metabolites, tumor microbiome, anticancer therapy, probiotics, fecal microbiota transplantation, next-generation probiotics, machine learning.


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