Protein complexes 'inflammasomes' are linked to obesity-related colon cancer

Research presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity has reported that structures called inflammasomes (a part of the innate immune system that helps to regulate inflammation) could play an important role in the development of obesity-associated colon cancer. The study is by Dr Victoria Catalán and Professor Gema Frühbeck, University Hospital Navarra and CIBEROBN, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Pamplona, Spain, and colleagues.

Cancer is not a disease of the genome, but genomes

Researchers at the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, led by Dr Payam Gammage, and in collaboration with scientists at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in the US led by Dr Ed Reznik, have revealed the substantial impact mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) can have in cancer. Understanding this could offer up new indicators of disease prognosis and provide a new focus for future therapeutics.

Sugar-sweetened drinks associated with increased risk of CRC in women under 50

Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has found a link between drinking sugar-sweetened beverages and an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer in women under age 50. The findings suggest that heavy consumption of sugary drinks during adolescence (ages 13 to 18) and adulthood can increase the disease risk.

Development of a blood test to find early signs of bowel cancer in people with IBD

Researchers from Barts Cancer Institute in collaboration with St Mark’s hospital, London, UK, are developing a blood test that could identify bowel cancers at their earliest stage in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients could reduce the need for regular invasive colonoscopies and save lives. People with IBD are more likely to get bowel cancer, and so patients are offered regular colonoscopy that aims to spot cancer early on, while it can still be treated.

Disparities in colorectal cancer screenings

Patients with one or more health conditions are more likely to be screened for colorectal cancer than those without comorbidities, according to researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch Hospitals in Galveston, TX. The outcomes were featured in the paper, ‘National disparities in colorectal cancer screening in patients with comorbid conditions: an analysis of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System’, published in the Journal of Osteopathic Medicine.

Intestinal polyps in close relatives can increase risk of CRC

In the largest registry study to date, researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Harvard University in the USA, have reported a possible connection between colorectal polyps in close relatives and the risk of developing colorectal cancer. The study, ‘Risk of colorectal cancer in first degree relatives of patients with colorectal polyps: nationwide case-control study in Sweden’, published in the British Medical Journal, is of potential consequence for different countries' screening procedures.

Blocking immunosuppressive microRNAs in colorectal cancer cells proves effective

University of Minnesota Medical School researchers have uncovered a new way to potentially target and treat late-stage colorectal cancer by identifying a novel mechanism by which colorectal cancer cells evade an anti-tumour immune response, which helped them develop an exosome-based therapeutic strategy to potentially treat the disease.