Mucosal bacteria in patients with the Lynch syndrome

Bruggeling, Carlijn.jpg

Only recently we are starting to understand the importance of intestinal bacteria in both health and disease.

I, Carlijn Bruggeling, am a PhD student at the department of Pathology under supervision of dr. Annemarie Boleij and Prof. dr. I Nagtegaal and am specifically interested in the role of bacteria in colorectal cancer. Due to mutations in DNA mismatch repair genes, Lynch syndrome patients have an increased risk to develop colorectal cancer. Interestingly, some patients are more likely to develop colorectal cancer than others and we believe that the composition and function of the microbiome might be of importance for this difference. With this study, we hope to identify novel biomarkers that will help to discriminate between high risk and low risk Lynch syndrome patients.

In order to achieve this, we will study the presence of putative pathogenic bacteria in tandem with mucosal integrity and carcinogenesis markers in colon biopsies. In collaboration with the Gastroenterology and Human genetics department, we have just started a prospective cohort study in which biopsies and feces from Lynch syndrome patients are collected over time.

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