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Microbiome and Cancers of the Esophagus: A Review
 
 
Review

Challenges in Determining the Role of Microbiome Evolution in Barrett’s Esophagus and Progression to Esophageal Adenocarcinoma

by 1,2,3, 4, 4,5, 2,3,6,7,8 and 1,2,*
1
Division of Biomedical Informatics, Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
2
Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Program, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
3
Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
4
Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
5
Veterans Affairs, San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, CA 92161, USA
6
Department of Bioengineering, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
7
Center for Microbiome Innovation, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
8
Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eamonn Martin Quigley
Microorganisms 2021, 9(10), 2003; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9102003
Received: 15 August 2021 / Revised: 15 September 2021 / Accepted: 16 September 2021 / Published: 22 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bacteria and Esophageal Cancer)
Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) claims the lives of half of patients within the first year of diagnosis, and its incidence has rapidly increased since the 1970s despite extensive research into etiological factors. The changes in the microbiome within the distal esophagus in modern populations may help explain the growth in cases that other common EAC risk factors together cannot fully explain. The precursor to EAC is Barrett’s esophagus (BE), a metaplasia adapted to a reflux-mediated microenvironment that can be challenging to diagnose in patients who do not undergo endoscopic screening. Non-invasive procedures to detect microbial communities in saliva, oral swabs and brushings from the distal esophagus allow us to characterize taxonomic differences in bacterial population abundances within patients with BE versus controls, and may provide an alternative means of BE detection. Unique microbial communities have been identified across healthy esophagus, BE, and various stages of progression to EAC, but studies determining dynamic changes in these communities, including migration from proximal stomach and oral cavity niches, and their potential causal role in cancer formation are lacking. Helicobacter pylori is negatively associated with EAC, and the absence of this species has been implicated in the evolution of chromosomal instability, a main driver of EAC, but joint analyses of microbiome and host genomes are needed. Acknowledging technical challenges, future studies on the prediction of microbial dynamics and evolution within BE and the progression to EAC will require larger esophageal microbiome datasets, improved bioinformatics pipelines, and specialized mathematical models for analysis. View Full-Text
Keywords: esophageal adenocarcinoma; Barrett’s esophagus; Helicobacter pylori; microbiome evolution; esophagus microbiome esophageal adenocarcinoma; Barrett’s esophagus; Helicobacter pylori; microbiome evolution; esophagus microbiome
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MDPI and ACS Style

Guccione, C.; Yadlapati, R.; Shah, S.; Knight, R.; Curtius, K. Challenges in Determining the Role of Microbiome Evolution in Barrett’s Esophagus and Progression to Esophageal Adenocarcinoma. Microorganisms 2021, 9, 2003. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9102003

AMA Style

Guccione C, Yadlapati R, Shah S, Knight R, Curtius K. Challenges in Determining the Role of Microbiome Evolution in Barrett’s Esophagus and Progression to Esophageal Adenocarcinoma. Microorganisms. 2021; 9(10):2003. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9102003

Chicago/Turabian Style

Guccione, Caitlin, Rena Yadlapati, Shailja Shah, Rob Knight, and Kit Curtius. 2021. "Challenges in Determining the Role of Microbiome Evolution in Barrett’s Esophagus and Progression to Esophageal Adenocarcinoma" Microorganisms 9, no. 10: 2003. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9102003

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