Gum disease-related bacteria tied to colorectal cancer

at first glance

  • Scientists have discovered a specific subtype of bacteria linked to gum disease that may promote the growth of colorectal tumors.
  • The results suggest that therapies targeting these bacteria in tumors may help reduce the severity of some colorectal cancers.

Colorectal cancer (colon and rectal cancer) is the fourth most common cancer in the country. Although overall rates have been steadily declining due to advances in screening technology, rates of colorectal cancer in young people are increasing. Researchers have been working to understand why.

a bacteria linked to gum disease, Fusobacterium nucleatumalso found in some colorectal cancer tumors. Fusarium nucleatum It is rare in the intestines of healthy people. Colorectal tumors containing these bacteria are associated with more cancer recurrences and poorer patient outcomes compared with tumors without these bacteria. However, it's unclear how much of a role, if any, the bacteria play in causing tumor growth.

Fusarium nucleatum Usually found in low amounts in the mouth, they can multiply and, along with other microorganisms, cause inflammation and lead to gum or periodontal disease. Over time, this inflammation leads to the destruction of the bone and tissue that supports the teeth, leading to tooth loss. Research over the years has shown a relationship between periodontal disease and other diseases throughout the body, including heart, kidney, autoimmune diseases, and even some cancers. However, in most cases, scientists still do not fully understand the extent, if any, involvement of periodontal disease in causing these conditions.

The NIH-funded research team was led by Ph.D.By Martha Zepeda Rivera, Susan Bullman and Christopher D. Johnston, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center Fusarium nucleatum Viruses from colorectal tumors and from healthy mouths.They analyzed the genomes of 80 people Fusarium nucleatum strains from the oral cavity of people without cancer and 55 strains from tumors of colorectal cancer patients. The research results were published on March 20, 2024. nature.

The research team found that one subspecies Fusarium nucleatumcalled Verner, more likely to be present in colorectal tumors.Further analysis revealed that there are two distinct types Verner.Both are present in the mouth, but only one, called Verner C2, associated with colorectal cancer.

When researchers infected mice with inflamed intestines (an animal model of colitis) with both types Fusarium nucleatumthey found that mice infected with Verner C2 produces more tumors than patients infected with other types.

It's unclear how these bacteria spread from the mouth to the colon.However, researchers have shown Verner C2 survives longer than other types in acidic conditions (such as those found in the gut) Verner. This suggests that the bacteria may spread along a direct path along the digestive tract.

“We have identified the exact bacterial lineage associated with colorectal cancer, and this knowledge is critical to developing effective prevention and treatment approaches,” Johnston said.

Future research could test whether specifically targeting Fusarium nucleatum Improved patient outcomes in colorectal tumors.One day, clinicians may also be able to screen Verner C2 is used to identify more aggressive colorectal tumors.

—Dr. Vanessa McMeans

refer to: A unique Fusobacterium nucleatum clade dominates colorectal cancer.[ PMC 免費文章 ][ PubMed ]Zepeda-Rivera M, Minot SS, Bouzek H, Wu H, Blanco-Miguez A, Manghi P, Jones DS, LaCourse KD, Wu Y, McMahon EF, Park SN, Lim YK, Kempchinsky AG, Willis AD, Cotton SL, Yost[ PubMed ][ 交叉引用]Sicinska SC, Sicinska E, Kook JK, Dewhirst FE, Segata N, Bullman S, Johnston CD. nature. March 20, 2024. Online ahead of print. Phone number: 38509359.

funds: NIH's National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), and Office of the Director (OD); WM Keck Research Foundation; Washington Research Foundation; Korea Bio and Medical Technology Development Program.

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