The human oesophagus is home to a complex microbial community, the oesophageal microbiome. Despite decades of work, we still have only a poor, low-resolution view of this community, which makes it hard to distinguish hope from hype when it comes to assessing links between the oesophageal microbiome and cancer. Here we review the potential importance of this microbiome and discuss new approaches, including culturomics, metagenomics, and recovery of whole-genome sequences, that bring renewed hope for an in-depth characterisation of this community that could deliver translational impact.
- Barrett's oesophagus
- gastro-oesophageal reflux
- oesophageal adenocarcinoma
- oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma