The colonic microbiota perhaps aided by specific bacterial species is hypothesized to contribute to colon cancer pathogenesis. Potential mechanisms include induction of mucosal pro-carcinogenic immune responses and the biologic action of specific microbial, particularly bacterial, virulence factors. Among specific bacterial species, Escherichia coli possessing the pks island with the DNA-damaging colibactin toxin, Fusobacterium nucleatum and enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis (ETBF) that secretes the DNA-damaging B. fragilis toxin are carcinogenic species of particular interest. To address the hypothesis that microbial species or communities contribute to CRC pathogenesis, we are prospectively studying the microbial associations of human CRC together with parameters of mucosal immunity. The epidemiology of specific putative carcinogenic bacterial species and the relationship of mucosal bacterial communities that invade the inner mucus layer of the colon, known as biofilms, to sporadic and hereditary colon cancers will be discussed. Integration of new knowledge about the microbiota and colon cancer will inform current hypotheses on disease pathogenesis as well as future approaches to the prevention and possibly treatment of colon cancer.
Citation Format: Cynthia L. Sears. Biofilms, genetics, and colon cancer. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR Inaugural International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference: Translating Science into Survival; September 16-19, 2015; New York, NY. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Immunol Res 2016;4(1 Suppl):Abstract nr IA33.
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