Over the last decades, the incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) in young adults has increased at an alarming rate. Global Westernization of diets, synthetic food dyes, physical inactivity, and sedentary behavior are key risk factors. The gut microbiota is at the intersection of early-onset CRC and those risk factors and can be seen as a dynamic living sensor of any change in the human body. Therefore, leveraging recent advances in next-generation sequencing can lead to novel microbiome-based prophylactics, diagnostics, and therapeutics to combat CRC in young adults.
Our goal is to apply a systems microbiome approach in geographically and demographically diverse cohorts to progress in the early detection of CRC in young adults. To this end, we have formed the research consortium PerMiCCion together with world-leading researchers in cancer, epidemiology, and bioinformatics field.
At PerMiCCion, we focus on:
- stool microbiome as diagnostic
- study of the CRC tissue microbiome for causal research
- association of diet, lifestyle, and medication with gut balance and dysbiosis for CRC prevention
- development of a microbiome Global Positioning System (mGPS) for personalized dietary and lifestyle recommendations (follow-up care for young adults with CRC)
With this approach, we hope to:
- identify microbiome biomarkers for diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring of early-onset CRC
- discover and design microbiome-based interventions with prophylactic and therapeutic potential.