The role of microbiome in pancreatic cancer

Jenny Jing Li, Mojun Zhu, Purna C. Kashyap, Nicholas Chia, Nguyen H. Tran, Robert R. McWilliams, Tanios S. Bekaii-Saab, Wen Wee Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Recent studies of the human microbiome have offered new insights into how the microbiome can impact cancer development and treatment. Specifically, in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), the microbiota has been shown to modulate PDAC risk, contribute to tumorigenesis, impact the tumor microenvironment, and alter treatment response. These findings provide rationale for further investigations into leveraging the microbiome to develop new strategies to diagnose and treat PDAC patients. There is growing evidence that microbiome analyses have the potential to become easily performed, non-invasive diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive biomarkers in pancreatic cancer. More excitingly, there is now emerging interest in developing interventions based on the modulation of microbiota. Fecal microbiota transplantation, probiotics, dietary changes, and antibiotics are all potential strategies to augment the efficacy of current therapeutics and reduce toxicities. While there are still challenges to overcome, this is a rapidly growing field that holds promise for translation into clinical practice and provides a new approach to improving patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)777-789
Number of pages13
JournalCancer and Metastasis Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Biomarker
  • Microbiome
  • Microbiota modulation
  • Pancreatic cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of microbiome in pancreatic cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this