The human microbiota and prostate cancer: Friend or foe?

Francesco Massari, Veronica Mollica, Vincenzo Di Nunno, Lidia Gatto, Matteo Santoni, Marina Scarpelli, Alessia Cimadamore, Antonio Lopez-Beltran, Liang Cheng, Nicola Battelli, Rodolfo Montironi, Giovanni Brandi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

6 Scopus citations


The human microbiome is gaining increasing attention in the medical community, as knowledge on its role not only in health but also in disease development and response to therapies is expanding. Furthermore, the connection between the microbiota and cancer, especially the link between the gut microbiota and gastrointestinal tumors, is becoming clearer. The interaction between the microbiota and the response to chemotherapies and, more recently, to immunotherapy has been widely studied, and a connection between a peculiar type of microbiota and a better response to these therapies and a different incidence in toxicities has been hypothesized. As knowledge on the gut microbiota increases, interest in the residing microbial population in other systems of our body is also increasing. Consequently, the urinary microbiota is under evaluation for its possible implications in genitourinary diseases, including cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in the male population; thus, research regarding its etiology and possible factors correlated to disease progression or the response to specific therapies is thriving. This review has the purpose to recollect the current knowledge on the relationship between the human microbiota and prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number459
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • Genitourinary cancers
  • Microbiome
  • Microbiota
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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  • Cite this

    Massari, F., Mollica, V., Di Nunno, V., Gatto, L., Santoni, M., Scarpelli, M., Cimadamore, A., Lopez-Beltran, A., Cheng, L., Battelli, N., Montironi, R., & Brandi, G. (2019). The human microbiota and prostate cancer: Friend or foe? Cancers, 11(4), [459].