The human microbiota is a concoction of bacteria, archaea, fungi, and other microorganisms. It is necessary to maintain a partnership between the host and the microbiota in order to maintain the different aspects of human physiology, such as nutrient absorption, immune function and metabolism.
The microbiota can contribute to both progression and suppression of the disease, including cancer. A disturbance in this interspecies balance called microbiome dysbiosis becomes a reason for the host to be more prone to issues such as immunodeficiency and cancer.
Gut microbiota could potentially influence the factors that govern cancer susceptibility and progression through mechanisms such as immunomodulation, by producing metabolites, such as, bacteriocins, antimicrobial peptides involved in tumor suppression, and short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), and through enzymatic degradation.
It is now an established fact that the host physiology as well as risk of diseases such as cancer could be greatly modulated by these commensal microbes and the regulation of cancer development, progression as well as response to anticancer therapy is greatly dependent on the host microbiota.
Therefore, it is being envisaged that by the involvement of microbiome in augmenting antitumor responses to therapeutic approaches, potentially a new era of research with potentially broad implication on cancer treatment could be established. Better cancer treatment responsiveness can be achieved by understanding the role of the “tumor microbiome” in shaping the tumor microenvironment.
This will help us to develop personalized anticancer solution with the goal to discover a bacterial species or a combination of species that decreases systemic toxicity and helps in anticancer therapy. This chapter is written in same context, which focuses on the association of the gut microbiome with the suppression and progression of cancers, the role of the immune system in this interaction, the utilization of these organisms for the treatment of cancers, and future perspectives.
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