Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gut microbes spur development of bowel cancer

Date:
March 3, 2014
Source:
The Rockefeller University Press
Summary:
It is not only genetics that predispose to bowel cancer; microbes living in the gut help drive the development of intestinal tumors, according to new research in mice. Bowel cancer, also called colorectal cancer, results from a series of genetic changes (mutations) that cause healthy cells to become progressively cancerous, first forming early tumors called polyps that can eventually become malignant. New research focused on these polyps demonstrated that bacteria are essential for early tumor development.

The development of intestinal tumors (polyps) in mice (left) was prevented by modifying the composition of gut microbes (right).
Credit: Bongers et al., 2014

It is not only genetics that predispose to bowel cancer; microbes living in the gut help drive the development of intestinal tumors, according to new research in mice published in the March issue of The Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Related Articles


Bowel cancer, also called colorectal cancer, results from a series of genetic changes (mutations) that cause healthy cells to become progressively cancerous, first forming early tumors called polyps that can eventually become malignant. Although mutations can occur anywhere in the human intestine, certain types of colorectal cancer tend to develop in particular locations, suggesting that additional, nongenetic factors contribute to tumor growth and dictate where polyps appear.

Dr. Sergio Lira and his team at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, asked if gut microbes have a hand in tumor development. The researchers had noticed previously that mice carrying polyp-causing mutations develop polyps only in a limited section of the intestine, despite the mutations being present in all cells along the intestine. In the new study, they treated the mice with antibiotics to disrupt the populations of microbes living in their gut. This treatment prevented the formation of polyps, showing that bacteria are essential for early tumor development in this model. The authors propose that bacteria cross from the gut into the tissue of the intestinal wall, triggering inflammation that promotes tumor growth.

While further research is needed to confirm the identity of the cancer-promoting bacteria, the findings suggest it may be possible to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in genetically susceptible individuals by removing certain types of gut bacteria.

The work may also help explain some of the nongenetic factors that have been implicated in colorectal cancer. "In addition to genetic changes, various lifestyle-related factors, such as obesity and diet, have been linked to colorectal cancer. Some of these lifestyle factors appear to affect the types of bacteria present in the gut," explains Dr Lira. "Ultimately, understanding the interplay between genetic mutations, gut microbes, and inflammation may lead to novel diagnostics and therapies for intestinal cancer."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Rockefeller University Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bongers, G., et al. Interplay of host microbiota, genetic perturbations, and inflammation promotes local development of intestinal neoplasms in mice. J. Exp. Med, March 2014 DOI: 10.1084/jem.20131587

Cite This Page:

The Rockefeller University Press. "Gut microbes spur development of bowel cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140303135902.htm>.
The Rockefeller University Press. (2014, March 3). Gut microbes spur development of bowel cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140303135902.htm
The Rockefeller University Press. "Gut microbes spur development of bowel cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140303135902.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins