- Mark Alan Feitelson, MD, PhD
- Professor, Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Department of Biology, Temple University, USA
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Special Issue Introduction
The gut microbiome is now considered an organ system which is central to maintaining metabolic and immunological homeostasis. It is involved in the production of compounds necessary for life, for the metabolism of many compounds that are ingested, and stimulates innate and adaptive immunity on the one hand, while tempering immune responses on the other. Alterations in the composition of bacteria (and other microbes) in the gut in a condition known as dysbiosis, is associated with an increasing and remarkable number of diseases characterized by chronic inflammation affecting multiple organ systems, including the liver. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the many tumor types arising on a background of chronic inflammation. Importantly, HCC arises from many etiologies, including hepatitis B and C virus infections, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, alcoholic liver disease, as well as autoimmune hepatitis and from several genetic abnormalities. While it is not clear whether dysbiosis contributes to the cause or is the outcome of HCC, manipulation of the gut microbiome will likely help to re-establish the homeostasis. There is a long way to go, but there is no question that rebalancing the gut microbiome will be essential to recovering health as nature intended it.
Submission Deadline15 Oct 2019