Send to

Choose Destination
World J Gastroenterol. 2019 Jan 14;25(2):151-162. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v25.i2.151.

Role of diet and gut microbiota on colorectal cancer immunomodulation.

Author information

Department of Surgery and Translational Medicine, University of Florence, Florence 50134, Italy.
Department of Surgery, Stomatology, Pathology and Radiology, Bauru School of Dentistry, São Paulo University, Bauru-Sao Paulo 17012901, Brazil.
Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Florence 50139, Italy.
Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence and Department of Biomedicine, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Careggi (AOUC), Florence 50139, Italy.


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers, and it is characterized by genetic and epigenetic alterations, as well as by inflammatory cell infiltration among malignant and stromal cells. However, this dynamic infiltration can be influenced by the microenvironment to promote tumor proliferation, survival and metastasis or cancer inhibition. In particular, the cancer microenvironment metabolites can regulate the inflammatory cells to induce a chronic inflammatory response that can be a predisposing condition for CRC retention. In addition, some nutritional components might contribute to a chronic inflammatory condition by regulating various immune and inflammatory pathways. Besides that, diet strongly modulates the gut microbiota composition, which has a key role in maintaining gut homeostasis and is associated with the modulation of host inflammatory and immune responses. Therefore, diet has a fundamental role in CRC initiation, progression and prevention. In particular, functional foods such as probiotics, prebiotics and symbiotics can have a potentially positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition and have anti-inflammatory effects. In this review, we discuss the influence of diet on gut microbiota composition, focusing on its role on gut inflammation and immunity. Finally, we describe the potential benefits of using probiotics and prebiotics to modulate the host inflammatory response, as well as its application in CRC prevention and treatment.


Colorectal cancer; Diet; Gut microbiota; Immune response; Inflammation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center