Two cancer studies find bacterial clue in colon article by gina kolata
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Two Cancer Studies Find Bacterial Clue in Colon Article by: Gina Kolata. Presentation by: Marie Charles Bio 303: Microbiology . Colon Cancer. Question: Might it be caused or pushed along by a bacterial infection? Research: Discover the link by analyzing genetic material from tumor samples .

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Two Cancer Studies Find Bacterial Clue in Colon Article by: Gina Kolata

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Two Cancer Studies Find Bacterial Clue in ColonArticle by: Gina Kolata

Presentation by: Marie Charles

Bio 303: Microbiology


Colon Cancer

  • Question: Might it be caused or pushed along by a bacterial infection?

  • Research: Discover the link by analyzing genetic material from tumor samples


2 Research Teams:

  • Dr. Holt and his team at the British Columbia Cancer Agency

  • Patients from Canada

  • Dr. Meyerson and team at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston

  • Patients from U.S, Vietnam, Barcelona, and Spain


What they found:

  • One particular species of bacterium that is not prevalent in the colon has a high affinity for colon cancers: Fusobacterium

  • Fusobacterium lurked around the cancer cells and also “burrowed” into the tumor cells

  • Bacteria was prevalent in patients whose cancer had spread beyond their colons.


What they found (cont’d):

  • Both research teams all had the bacteria in far greater abundance in their tumor cells than in normal colon cells.

  • Dr. Holt found an average of 415 times as many Fusobacteria in the tumor cells as in the normal cells when looking at RNA from colon cancer patients.

  • Dr. Meyerson also found more bacteria in the cancer cells when looking at DNA from colon cancer patients.


Significance

  • If Fusobacteria does cause colon cancer, researchers can one day create vaccines.

  • Although there is a link, research is still in its early stages and they still do not know if Fusobacteria spur or cause cancer.


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