Pierre Le Bars, Sebastien Metamoros, Emmanuel Montassier, Françoise Le Vacon, Gilles Potel, Assem Soueidan, Fabienne Jordana, Marie-France De La Cochétière
Many studies show that the human microbiome plays a critical role in the chronic pathologies of obesity, inflammatory bowel diseases, and diabetes.
More recently, the interaction between cancer and the microbiome has been highlighted. Most studies have focused on the gut microbiota because it represents the most extensive bacterial community, and the body of evidence correlating it with gut syndromes is increasing. However, in the strict sense, the gastrointestinal (GI) tract begins in the oral cavity, and special attention should be paid to the specific flora of this cavity. This study reviewed the current knowledge about the various microbial ecosystems of the upper part of the GI tract and discussed their potential link to carcinogenesis. The overall composition of the microbial communities, as well as the presence or absence of ‘key species’ in relation to carcinogenesis, is addressed. Alterations in the oral microbiota can potentially be used to predict the risk of cancer.
Molecular advances and the further monitoring of the microbiota will increase our understanding of the role of the microbiota in carcinogenesis and open new perspectives for future therapeutic and prophylactic modalities.