Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

Microbiome distinctions between the CRC carcinogenic pathways


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer, the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths, and has been on the rise among young adults in the United States. Research has established that the colonic microbiome is different in patients with CRC compared to healthy controls, but few studies have investigated if and how the microbiome may relate to CRC progression through the serrated pathway versus the adenoma-carcinoma sequence.Our view is that progress in CRC microbiome research requires consideration of how the microbiome may contribute to CRC carcinogenesis through the distinct pathways that lead to CRC, which could enable the creation of novel and tailored prevention, screening, and therapeutic interventions. We first highlight the limitations in existing CRC microbiome research and offer corresponding solutions for investigating the microbiome's role in the adenoma-carcinoma sequence and serrated pathway. We then summarize the findings in the select human studies that included data points related to the two major carcinogenic pathways. These studies investigate the microbiome in CRC carcinogenesis and 1) utilize mucosal samples and 2) compare polyps or tumors by histopathologic type, molecular/genetic type, or location in the colon.Key findings from these studies include: 1) Fusobacterium is associated with right-sided, more advanced, and serrated lesions; 2) the colons of people with CRC have bacteria typically associated with normal oral flora; and 3) colons from people with CRC have more biofilms, and these biofilms are predominantly located in the proximal colon (single study).

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View