The role of microbiota in the pathogenesis of esophageal adenocarcinoma

Megan R. Gillespie, Vikrant Rai, Swati Agrawal, Kalyana C. Nandipati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) is associated with poor overall five-year survival. The incidence of esophageal cancer is on the rise, especially in Western societies, and the pathophysiologic mechanisms by which EAC develops are of extreme interest. Several studies have proposed that the esophageal microbiome may play an important role in the pathophysiology of EAC, as well as its precursors-gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and Barrett’s esophagus (BE). Gastrointestinal microbiomes altered by inflammatory states have been shown to mediate tumorigenesis directly and are now being considered as novel targets for both cancer treatment and prevention. Elucidating molecular mechanisms through which the esophageal microbiome potentiates the development of GERD, BE, and EAC will provide a foundation on which new therapeutic targets can be developed. This review summarizes current findings that elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which microbiota promote the pathogenesis of GERD, BE, and EAC, revealing potential directions for additional research on the microbiome-mediated pathophysiology of EAC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number697
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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