Study shines light on gut microbiome in colon cancer
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Washington, DC – May 15, 2018 – Researchers have identified a correlation between gut microbial composition and microRNA expression in human colorectal cancer, according to a recent study published in the journal mSystems. The study is the first to demonstrate that the interaction between microRNA and the gut microbiome may play a role in colorectal cancer.

“This is a correlation, but it is still very exciting, because if we see a causal effect, you can think of ways to manipulate the microRNA in the tumors by changing the microbiome, and that could potentially be used as a cancer therapy,” said principal study investigator Ran Blekhman, PhD, assistant professor in the Departments of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development, and Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. The study was performed by Angelo Yuan, a Ph.D. student in the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology graduate program at the University of Minnesota.

The researchers launched their new study for three reasons. First, recent studies have shown that the microbiome has a role in colon cancer. Second, many studies have shown that host microRNAs are very important in cancer. Third, recent research has shown that there are interactions between the

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