Gut microbiota is a group of microbes living in the human intestine. They can be used to forecast the occurrence of colorectal cancer, which is said to be the 2nd most common type of cancer in women and the 3rd in men. A study by an international research team including Brazilians has discovered a connection between colorectal cancer and alterations in gut microbiota patterns that are independent of the dietary routines of the populations studied. The latest finding paves the way for the expansion of non-invasive tests with the capability to predict the appearance of the disease.
The latest study can be accessed in the journal Nature Medicine. Andrew Maltez Thomas, Ph.D., Bioinformatics, University of São Paulo (USP), Brazil, is the first author of the study. He was backed by São Paulo Research Foundation, FAPESP through a scholarship for a research internship at the University Of Trento, Italy.
On a similar note, scientists at the University of Michigan came into the news as they revealed the development of a device they call “the epitome of precision medicine.” This device is now in the testing phase. Researchers proclaimed that the latest device holds an ability to detect cancer in circulating blood. Dr. Daniel Hayes, the Stuart B. Padnos, Professor, Breast Cancer Research, University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, proclaimed, “Nobody wants to have a biopsy.”
Biopsies are invasive and can be painful. However, at present, they are the most precise technique to determine if or not an individual has cancer. But, Dr. Hayes suggested that, if we could obtain sufficient amount of cancer cells from the blood, these cells can be used to learn about the tumor biology and decide the action plan to take care for the patients. Recently, Dr. Hayes and his associates created a wearable device that “filters” circulating blood for cancer cells that, if it is successful in passing all the tests, might replace various liquid biopsies to look for markers of cancer.