Maria Abreu, MD

In recent years, colorectal cancer (CRC) has become the third most common and second most deadly cancer in the US. CRC is the leading cause of cancer death among Americans under 50 years old, but experts do not know why rates are increasing among young people. Moreover, we do not have a good way of detecting people who are at higher risk of CRC. These people should receive early monitoring and undergo extra measures to prevent CRC. How can we identify these at-risk individuals? We propose that certain bacteria cause the production of an enzyme (DUOX2) in the gut. High levels of this enzyme are found in people with gut inflammation and people with CRC. In the proposed research, we plan to test whether patients with different types of CRC have different levels of DUOX2. We expect that some CRC types will have higher levels than others. Next, we will try to identify the bacteria that lead to high DOUX2 levels. Discovering these bacteria may help to identify people at higher risk of CRC (people with higher amounts of these bacteria) and suggest new cancer treatments (ones targeting these bacteria). Finally, we will test whether drugs that are already approved for use in humans, along with other products of bacteria, can reduce levels of DUOX2 in the gut. Identifying these drugs may improve prevention and treatment for CRC.

Location: University of Miami, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center - Miami
Proposal: Leveraging Microbiome and Metabolomic Strategies to Target DUOX2 Activity for Colorectal Cancer Treatment and Prevention
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