Microorganisms within the gut and other niches may contribute to carcinogenesis, as well as shaping cancer immunosurveillance and response to immunotherapy.

Our understanding of the complex relationship between different host-intrinsic microorganisms, as well as the multifaceted mechanisms by which they influence health and disease, has grown tremendously—hastening development of novel therapeutic strategies that target the microbiota to improve treatment outcomes in cancer.

Accordingly, the evaluation of a patient’s microbial composition and function and its subsequent targeted modulation represent key elements of future multidisciplinary and precision-medicine approaches. In this Review, we outline the current state of research toward harnessing the microbiome to better prevent and treat cancer.

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