Scientists find the cause of colon cancer

Scientists find the cause of colon cancer

Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine (colon), which is the final part of your digestive tract.

Its signs and symptoms may include a change in bowel movements, blood in the stool, weight loss, and fatigue.

Many lifestyle factors could contribute to colon cancer, such as sitting too much, eating a high-fat diet, and being obese.

However, the cause of the condition remains unknown.

A recent study published in Gastroenterology has found the major cause of colon cancer.

It shows that bacteria and cell stress could lead to the disease.

The research was done by a team from Technische University Munich, Germany.

Previously, researchers hypothesized chronic inflammation has an effect on cancer development in the colon.

In this study, the researchers examined how bacteria in the intestines play a role in the development of intestinal inflammation.

They tested tissues of human patients and animals.

In germ-free (i.e. sterile) animals, the activated transcription factor ATF6 regulated stress in the intestinal mucosa (intestinal epithelium).

But when the microbiota was transplanted back into germ-free animals, the team found tumors developed in the colon of the mice.

The team found that microorganisms are involved in the development of cancer in the colon.

This finding suggests the transcription factor ATF6 regulates stress in cells.

They then analyzed data of 541 patients with colon cancer.

They found that when the level of transcription factor ATF6 was highly increased, patients had a higher risk of getting colon cancer a second time.

This means the protein ATF6 could serve as a diagnostic marker for a higher risk of colon cancer. It could help start the therapy at an early stage.

The researchers suggest that bacteria combined with stress in cells may cause tumors (exclusively in the colon) and even though there was no inflammation.

The study lead author is Dirk Haller, Chair of Nutrition and Immunology.

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Further reading: Gastroenterology.