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NPJ Precis Oncol 2019 Nov 13; 3:29





Aberrant crypt foci (ACF) are the earliest morphologically identifiable lesions in the colon that can be detected by high-definition chromoendoscopy with contrast dye spray. Although frequently associated with synchronous adenomas, their role in colorectal tumor development, particularly in the proximal colon, is still not clear. The goal of this study was to evaluate the profile of colon-adherent bacteria associated with proximal ACF and to investigate their relationship to the presence and subtype of synchronous polyps present throughout the colon. Forty-five subjects undergoing a screening or surveillance colonoscopy were included in this retrospective study. Bacterial cells adherent to the epithelia of ACF and normal mucosal biopsies were visualized by in situ hybridization within confocal tissue sections. ACF showed significantly greater heterogeneity in their bacterial microbiome profiles compared with normal mucosa. One of the bacterial community structures we characterized was strongly correlated with the presence of synchronous polyps. Finally, using DNA mass spectrometry to evaluate a panel of colorectal cancer hotspot mutations present in the ACF, we found that three


This work was supported by The State of Connecticut Department of Public Health, Biomedical Trust Fund (DWR), The American Institute for Cancer Research (DWR) and Institutional support from The Jackson Laboratory of Genomic Medicine (G.M.W.). This paper is dedicated to Dr. Thomas Devers who was an outstanding colleague, a beloved physician, and an impactful researcher who will be greatly missed.

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