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15.04.2020 | review | Ausgabe 2/2020 Open Access

memo - Magazine of European Medical Oncology 2/2020

The intestinal microbiota and hepatocellular carcinoma

memo - Magazine of European Medical Oncology > Ausgabe 2/2020
Maria Effenberger, M.D. Herbert Tilg
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The intestinal microbiota seems to play a key role in many gastrointestinal, pancreatic and liver disorders. Dysbiosis, a substantial alteration in the intestinal microbiome, is associated with chronic liver disease (CLD) compared to healthy individuals. These findings were shown in several preclinical and clinical studies and were most distinct in the stage of cirrhosis. The pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and its underlying diseases is still not completely understood: Bacteria and related metabolites and pro-inflammatory signals may be involved. Several animal and human studies have focused on the role of intestinal microbiota in HCC. Here a key role of the intestinal microbiota in the pathogenesis could be addressed, whereby the abundance of pro-inflammatory intestinal species is increased. Additionally, some studies could demonstrate a decrease of butyrate-producing species and other species known for their anti-inflammatory potential. Furthermore, multiple preclinical studies could demonstrate that the intestinal microbiota is a key player in hepatocarcinogenesis. The intestinal microbiota seems to interact with the central pathways of hepatocarcinogenesis.

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