Colorectal cancer linked to bacteria

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 53, No. 10, December 2011, Page 525 News

Two new studies, one of them in­volving Simon Fraser University research­ers, have uncovered the first link between human colorectal cancer and a specific microorganism. 

The studies, just published on­line in the journal Genome Research, found the bacterium Fusobacterium hundreds of times more prevalent in tumors than normal tissue in 99 colorectal cancer patients. 

Fusobacterium is a known infectious agent that is rarely found in the contents of a normal gut. It has not previously been associated with cancer, and it has yet to be proven whether Fusobacterium infection causes or precedes colorectal tumors. 

Researchers plan to further in­vestigate the possibility that Fuso­bac­terium could be a direct cause of colon cancer, and if so, by what mechanism. The same methodology can then be applied to look for correlations be­tween infectious agents in other types of cancer. Some other cancers known to be caused by viruses or bacteria are cervical cancer (human papilloma virus) and liver cancer (hepatitis B and C virus).

. Colorectal cancer linked to bacteria. BCMJ, Vol. 53, No. 10, December, 2011, Page(s) 525 - News.

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