A collaboration between Belgian scientists from the VIB-UGent Inflammation Research Center and Ghent University helped to identify the mechanism that causes colorectal cancer
As a result, the specialists managed to stop the malignant process.
As part of the study, the specialists observed abnormal expression of the Zeb2 protein, which adversely affects the intestinal epithelium. The latter usually acts as a barrier against harmful microorganisms.
Protein contributes to the destruction of the natural barrier and the initiation of the inflammatory process. Which ultimately leads to the formation of a malignant tumor.
However, an experiment with rodents showed that cancer can be stopped by removing part of the microbiota. This is done with the help of broad-spectrum antibiotics.
“Zeb2 destabilizes the integrity of the intestinal barrier, allowing bacteria to penetrate tissues and provoke inflammatory responses.
This causes abnormal proliferation of epithelial cells, which eventually leads to the development of malignant tumors of the intestine.
Treating mice with antibiotics prevented the development of cancer.