Altering patients’ gut flora could form the basis of a new therapeutic approach for colon cancer

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Studies show that certain bacteria may contribute to the development of colorectal cancer by producing toxins that may damage colon cells or cause an accumulation of DNA mutations and/or intestinal inflammation.

Now, researchers are looking at the possibility that certain bacterial strains detected in the stools of patients with colorectal cancer may actually have the opposite effects on intestinal healing and therefore on recovery. This revelation marks an encouraging start to scientific investigation into the idea that modifying patients' intestinal flora - through a mix of prebiotics and probiotics - could form the basis of a new therapeutic approach for colon cancer - the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S.

The microbiome is one exciting frontier in the area of colorectal surgery. The makeup of bacteria in the colon and how it affects our technical outcomes or how the environment itself affects the development of cancer is something we are looking at more and more."

Dr. Ryan Moore, Colorectal Surgeon at Hackensack University Medical Center

With March being Colon Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Moore is available to discuss the increased incidence of colorectal cancer in the young and the likelihood that this may be the result of our environment and how it affects the microbiome.

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