Colorectal cancer can develop at any age. But rather than slowing or killing a patient it often appears as a chronic disease that always appears at an older age.
A study in Nature Microbiology by a group of investigators at Brigham and Womens Hospital and Harvard Medical School demonstrates that throughout a patients life microflora – the bacteria fungi and other microbes that colonize gastrointestinal (intestinal) tract environments – contribute to the progression and severity of metastatic colorectal cancer the leading cause of colorectal cancer in the United States.
This study is the first step in determining which microbes are most important in maintaining metabolism and early tumor development and resistance to immune checkpoint blockade drugs explained senior author Eric Jeffery MD a specialist in acute and chronic inflammatory diseases and the director of the Brighams Serum and GMD Systems Research and Developmental Therapeutics Center (Shed Center) at the Brigham. We hope the findings will help inform future research into effective treatment of the disease which is complicated by the presence of high levels of neutrophil and inflammatory cells.
Autoimmunity and Aging in Microbial Microbiome.
Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the industrialized world. One in three adult men and one in five women will be affected by this disease in their lifetime.