Gut Microbes Spur Bowel Cancer
It is not only genetics that predispose to bowel cancer; microbes living in the gut help drive the development of intestinal tumors, according to new research in mice published in the March issue of the Rockefeller Univ. Press’s The Journal of Experimental Medicine.
Bowel cancer, also called colorectal cancer, results from a series of genetic changes — mutations — that cause healthy cells to become progressively cancerous, first forming early tumors called polyps that can eventually become malignant. Although mutations can occur anywhere in the human intestine, certain types of colorectal cancer tend to develop in particular locations, suggesting that additional, non-genetic factors contribute to tumor growth and dictate where polyps appear.
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