Pancreatic cancer, inflammation, and microbiome

Constantinos P. Zambirinis, Smruti Pushalkar, Deepak Saxena, George Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal cancers worldwide. No effective screening methods exist, and available treatment modalities do not effectively treat the disease. Inflammatory conditions such as pancreatitis represent a well-known risk factor for pancreatic cancer development. Yet only in the past 2 decades has pancreatic cancer been recognized as an inflammation-driven cancer, and the precise mechanisms underlying the pathogenic role of inflammation are beginning to be explored in detail. A substantial amount of preclinical and clinical evidence suggests that bacteria are likely to influence this process by activating immune receptors and perpetuating cancer-associated inflammation. The recent explosion of investigations of the human microbiome have highlighted how perturbations of commensal bacterial populations can promote inflammation and promote disease processes, including carcinogenesis. The elucidation of the interplay between inflammation and microbiome in the context of pancreatic carcinogenesis will provide novel targets for intervention to prevent and treat pancreatic cancer more efficiently. Further studies toward this direction are urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-202
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Journal (United States)
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014


  • NF-kB
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • dysbiosis
  • inflammasomes
  • inflammation
  • microbiome,bacteria
  • toll-like receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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