The trillions of bacteria that live in the gut, known collectively as the gut microbiome, are important for normal functioning of the intestine. There is now growing evidence that disruptive changes in the gut microbiome are strongly associated with the development colorectal cancer. However, how the gut microbiome changes with time during tumorigenesis and whether these changes directly contribute to disease have not been determined. We demonstrate using a mouse model of inflammation-driven colon cancer that there are dramatic, continual alterations in the microbiome during the development of tumors, which are directly responsible for tumor development. Our results suggest that interventions that target these changes in the microbiome may be an effective strategy for preventing the development of colorectal cancer.