Colorectal Cancer-Associated Microbes Persist in Metastases, Suggest New Treatments

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Bacteria sometimes found in association with colorectal cancer (CRC) tissue often turn up at CRC metastases in other parts of the body, new research suggests, and may be beneficial to tumor growth or progression. In addition, results in mice suggest that antibiotics may be helpful to treat certain microbe-positive colorectal tumors.

Researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Center, the Broad Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and elsewhere used qPCR, bacterial genome sequencing, RNA sequencing, 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing, tumor xenograft experiments, and other strategies to show that Fusobacterium and other microbes can accompany primary tumors to metastatic sites, potentially boosting tumor growth and boding poorly for patient outcomes. Their results appeared online last week in Science.

“[C]olonization of human colorectal cancers with Fusobacterium and its associated microbiome, including Bacteroides, Selenomonas, and Prevotella species, is maintained in distal metastases, demonstrating microbiome stability between paired primary-metastatic tumors,” corresponding author Matthew Meyerson, director of cancer genomics at Dana-Farber and the Broad, and his colleagues wrote.

There have been several past hints that Fusobacterium and other bugs might be more common in and around CRCs. In a paper published in Genome Medicine in 2015, for example, the University of Minnesota’s Ran

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