Microbiome, a new dimension in cancer research
Recent reports on microbiome leading to or in association with cancer have surfaced in the medical science field. The results may impact clinical management as new concepts may provide a glimpse of a new world for cancer diagnosis, therapy and prevention. There will be profound implications for the discipline of medicine and oncology and for how laboratory diagnosticians relate to medicine as a whole. This editorial will provide a succinct, but challenging, analysis from a major article on the subject of cancer and microbiome, and how we anticipate the field of medical oncology will change during the next 5 to 10 years. In the Science publication of April 2015, Garrett highlights several mechanisms through which microbes and microbiota contribute to the development of cancer, whether by enhancing or diminishing a host’s risk. The mechanisms fall into three categories: (I) modifying the balance of host cell proliferation and death; (II) piloting the function of the immune system; and (III) affecting the breakdown of host-generated factors, ingested food staples, and pharmaceuticals.