Microbiome and Anticancer Immunosurveillance

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PubMed ID: 27058662

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Zitvogel L, Ayyoub M, Routy B, Kroemer G

Cell. Apr 2016. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.03.001S0092-8674(16)30256-2

A comprenhensive review article focused on the relation between the microbiome and the anticancer immune response. The article mainly describes two putative mechanism of action: 
- The presence of certain bacteria reshapes Tcell repertoire enabling tumor recognition
- Certain microbial compounds stimulates pattern recognition which ends up affecting anticancer immune response 

The authors review deeply the described effects of the microbiome in important anticancer immunosurveillance related mechanisms like the effects on tumor antigenicity, tumor adjuvanticity, microbial and tumor-antigens cross-reactivity and even the direct effects of microbial toxins and metabolites on cancer cells by means of affecting the immunosurveillance.

They review as well the effects of the microbiome in the efficacy of therapy-induced immunosurveillance. It is been seen  how the efficacy of certain chemoterapic agents is decreased in germ-free or mice treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics via alteration of the infiltration of immune cells in the tumor. 

Another interesting theory explained in the article is what the authors call the "cancer hygiene hypothesis". This hypothesis is analogous to the "hygiene hypothesis" which postulates that a reduced exposure to infections might lead to an increase in the probability of suffering allergies and autoimmnune diseases. This "cancer hygiene hypothesis" might explain the positive correlation seen between a reduced exposure to infections during the childhood and an increase in the incidence in cancers like chronic lymphoid leukemia or Hodgkin lymphoma. 


Marina Manrique