Sporadic colorectal cancer: role of the commensal microbiota

M E Hope, G L Hold, R Kain, E M El-Omar

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)


There are vast numbers of bacteria present within the human colon that are essential for the host's well being in terms of nutrition and mucosal immunity. While certain members of the colonic microbiota have been shown to promote the host's health there are also numerous studies that have implicated other members of the colonic microbiota in the development of colorectal cancer, a prominent malignancy within the western world. In this review we consider the evidence for the role of bacteria in colorectal cancer from molecular and animal model studies. We focus on some of the mechanisms by which the colonic microbiota drives the progression towards colorectal malignancy including generation of reactive metabolites and carcinogens, alterations in host carbohydrate expression and induction of chronic mucosal inflammation. (C) 2005 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005


  • colonic microbiota
  • colorectal cancer
  • inflammation
  • carbohydrate expression
  • reactive metabolites
  • colon-cancer
  • intestinal bacteria
  • chronic inflammation
  • ulcerative-colitis
  • escherichia-coli
  • knockout mice
  • fatty-acids
  • microflora
  • host
  • adenocarcinoma


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