• Ana Barros

Changes in gut bacteria promote colorectal cancer

Scientists in France have found that an imbalance in the microbe population living in our intestine could cause colorectal cancer.

Teams from the Paris institutions, Henri-Mondor AP-HP Hospital, University Paris-Est Créteil, Inserm and Institut Pasteur, carried out studies in mice and humans.

Scientists showed that in mice an imbalance of gut bacteria activated changes in genes that contributed to the onset or promotion of colorectal cancer.

They found that transplanting fecal flora from patients with colon cancer into the gut of mice caused lesions and epigenetic alterations (changes that affect how cells ‘read’ genes) typical of tumour development.

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