Tuesday January 28, 2020

Research Says, People with Gut Bacteria Can Have a Greater Risk of Bowel Cancer

The study was presented at the 2019 NCRI Cancer Conference in London, UK

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Gut Bacteria
Researchers were able to use Mendelian randomisation to understand the causal role that Gut Bacteria may have on the disease. Pixabay

Researchers have found that people with a certain type of Gut Bacteria may be at a greater risk of developing bowel cancer.

The gut microbiome is the collection of fungi, bacteria and viruses within our gut. There is an increasing evidence that the make-up of the microbiome plays a role in human health and the body’s susceptibility to disease.

“In the first study to use a technique called Mendelian randomisation to investigate the causal role played by bacteria in the development of bowel cancer, we found evidence that the presence of an unclassified type of bacteria from a bacterial group called Bacteroidales increased the risk of bowel cancer by between 2-15 per cent,” said study researcher Kaitlin Wade from the University of Bristol in UK.

This means that, on an average, people with this type of bacteria within their guts may have a slightly higher risk of bowel cancer as compared to those who don’t.

Researchers were able to use Mendelian randomisation to understand the causal role that these bacteria may have on the disease.

“With Mendelian randomisation, we use people’s natural, randomly inherited genetic variations, which alter levels of bacteria within the gut microbiome in a way that mimics a randomised trial, to see whether people with a different genetic makeup, and therefore different gut microbiome profiles, have a different risk of colorectal cancer,” explained Wade.

“In this way, we don’t have to edit anyone’s gut microbiome directly by giving antibiotics or probiotics in a randomised trial or waste time waiting to see whether people within the population get colorectal cancer,” Wade added.

For the study, the researchers used data from 3,890 people taking part in the Flemish Gut Flora Project, the German Food Chain Plus study and the PopGen study, and 120,328 people in the international Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium.

These genome-wide association studies (GWAS) searched for small variations in the genomes of participants that occur more frequently in people with a particular disease or characteristic than in people without that disease or characteristic.

Gut Bacteria
Researchers have found that people with a certain type of Gut Bacteria may be at a greater risk of developing bowel cancer. Pixabay

They also found that genetic variation in the population in particular parts of the genome were linked to the presence or varying amounts of 13 types of gut bacteria, and that people with an unclassified type of bacteria from the Bacteroidales group had a higher risk of bowel cancer compared to people who did not have these bacteria.

“We need to classify the exact species or strain of bacteria in the Bacteroidales group, and we need to do more work to understand how and why human genetic variation can alter the gut microbiome, Wade said.

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“Even if these results show that these bacteria may cause bowel cancer, we don’t know whether trying to alter them in an effort to reduce the risk of bowel cancer might have other, unforeseen effects on other aspects of health, ” she added.

The study was presented at the 2019 NCRI Cancer Conference in London, UK. (IANS)

Next Story

Patients May Suffer Invasive Treatments for Harmless Cancers: Researchers

According to the researchers, It is the first time that the risk of overdiagnosis has been quantified across five cancers, anywhere in the world

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A breast cancer diagnosis is terrifying enough at any time. Pixabay

Researchers have revealed that Australians are increasingly being diagnosed with potentially harmless cancers, which if left undetected or untreated, may expose them to unnecessary surgeries and chemotherapy.

The research, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, drew on data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare to compare how the lifetime risk of five cancers had changed between 1982 and 2012.

The study shows compared to 30 years ago, Australians are much more likely to experience a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime.

“Cancer treatments such as surgery, radiotherapy, endocrine and chemotherapy carry risks of physical harms,” said the study authors from Bond University, University of Sydney and Griffith University in Australia.

“In the absence of overdiagnosis, these harms are generally considered acceptable. In the context of overdiagnosed cancers, however, affected individuals cannot benefit but can only be harmed by these treatments,” authors added.

The figures suggest that in 2012 24 per cent of cancers or carcinomas in men were overdiagnosed. These included 42 per cent of prostate cancers, 42 per cent of renal cancers, 73 per cent of thyroid cancers and 58 per cent of melanomas.

Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

For women, 18 per cent of cancers or carcinomas were overdiagnosed, including 22 per cent of breast cancers, 58 per cent of renal cancers, 73 per cent of thyroid cancers and 58 per cent of melanomas.

The figures are significant because of the harm that can occur from cancer treatment of patients who would never have had symptoms in their lifetime.

The authors also refer to separate studies showing overdiagnosis could be linked to psychological problems.

“For example, men’s risk of suicide appears to increase in the year after receiving a prostate cancer diagnosis,” researchers said.

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According to the researchers, It is the first time that the risk of overdiagnosis has been quantified across five cancers, anywhere in the world.”

The findings also suggest an important role for health services such as the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, in detecting potential overdiagnosis and alerting health policy decision makers to the problem early on. (IANS)