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TOXIN AND COLON CANCER

ANCHOR LEAD: CAN AN ORGANISM FOUND IN THE INTESTINE CAUSE COLON CANCER?  ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Bacterioides fragilis is the Latin name for one of the thousands of bacteria that reside in our gut.  Now research by Cynthia Sears, an infectious disease expert, and colleagues at Johns Hopkins, published in Nature Medicine, implicates one subtype of this organism that produces a toxin as a potential cause of colon cancer.

SEARS:  There’s 10 to the 13th organisms, so its this very very complex array of organisms.  The majority of which we can’t even culture in the laboratory, so we see this organism as one possibility that may be an inducer of colon tumors and in fact it may be working in collaboration with other organisms in the gut to create a milieu that is able to incite the changes that lead to colon cancer.   :29

The research also showed that interfering with inflammation related to the bacterial toxin prevented tumor formation.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.



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