Wednesday, February 16, 2011

MU RESEARCH: Could do away with colonoscopies

COLUMBIA, 2/16/11  (Beat Byte) --  University of Missouri researchers are using genetic biomarkers to predict colon cancer caused by inflammation, a new method that might eliminate colonoscopies.

The biomarkers are found in mouse feces and predict colon cancer associated with inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease, say Craig Franklin, associate professor of veterinary pathobiology in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine; Aaron Ericsson, post-doctoral researcher at MU; Mike Lewis, assistant professor of veterinary medicine and surgery; Matt Myles, assistant professor of veterinary pathobiology; and Lillian Maggio-Price, professor of comparative medicine at the University of Washington.

A bacterium that leads to inflammation-associated colon cancer in mice first results in inflammation that can be detected by screening.  The discovery could lead to tests for similar genes that are present in humans.

"We’re excited about the potential for application in humans," Franklin said. "Ultimately, I’d envision panels of tests that predict diseases, with this method in the mix."

The study was published recently in the journal Neoplasia.

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