Some gut bacteria may increase bowel cancer risk, research suggests
“We are trying to do a lot in terms of cancer prevention. Despite the fact the microbiome could be at play there is a lot more that is needed, and interdisciplinary research that is needed, to try and help in that field,” said Dr Kaitlin Wade, a researcher at the University of Bristol who is presenting the findings at the National Cancer Research Institute’s cancer conference in Glasgow.
The study – yet to be published or peer reviewed – involved Wade and colleagues looking at the genetic and gut microbiome data of about 4,000 people across three European projects and exploring whether there were genetic variants linked to the presence of certain gut bacteria. As such genetic variants are randomly spread throughout the population, the approach is a type of natural experiment.
The team found 13 genetic variants each linked to variations in a different type of gut bacteria. They then looked at another set of data from about 2,000 people to see whether those with the genetic variantshad a greater tendency of developing bowel cancer.