Study shows DuPont probiotics impact intestinal microbiota in colon cancer patients

Breakthrough results show probiotic intervention can positively alter and modify intestinal microbiota in patients with colon cancer

A recent research study conducted by the Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg in Gothenburg, Sweden, in collaboration with DuPont Nutrition & Health (DuPont), yielded breakthrough results demonstrating that probiotic intervention can alter and modify intestinal microbiota in patients with colon cancer.

The study was based on this principle: the human gut microbiota contributes to metabolism, interacts with the immune system and protects against pathogens, so it has the potential to substantially impact overall health and well-being.

What defines a healthy microbiome can differ widely for individuals, but recent studies have shown that the gut microbiome is often dysbiotic, or altered from its normal stable state, in diseases such as gastrointestinal disorders, cancer, obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Recent advances in the sequencing technologies used to characterise the microbiome have led to an extensive investment in research focused on the discovery of new therapeutic strategies based on manipulation of the microbiome.

The key finding in the DuPont-backed research study was that the composition and diversity of the microbiota was altered in the tumour tissue and surrounding mucosa in biopsy samples taken from colon cancer patients when compared with non-cancer patients.

This colon-cancer associated microbiota was modified by probiotic intervention and characterised by an increase of bacteria known to produce butyrate.

The anti-inflammatory benefits of butyrate for colon health are well-documented, and it also has been shown to suppress the growth of colon cancer cells.

“Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the top three cancers diagnosed globally each year, and the risk of colorectal cancer is strongly correlated to lifestyle factors such as diet,” said Ashley Hibberd, Staff Associate Investigator, DuPont Nutrition & Health.

“The results of our study show that the risk component from diet may be mediated by the microbiota, and that the specific probiotic strains used in this study have the potential to support the microbiota in a beneficial way.”

DuPont probiotic strains Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis Bl-04 and Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM were manufactured into a protective matrix tablet innovation (ProBion) developed by Wasa Medicals, Sweden.

These strains were chosen for this study because NCFM was previously shown to suppress colonic tumour growth in mice and reduce the level of carcinogenic metabolites in the human intestine.

Bl-04 is known to have immunomodulation properties. The ProBion matrix was chosen as it provided the possibility to design an adequate dose-response profile necessary for clinical documentation.

“The CRC-associated microbiota is being continuously defined as new biomarkers of CRC are discovered,” said Yvonne Wettergren, PhD, the Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg.

“The microbial dysbiosis observed in patients with CRC may be manipulated by probiotic bacteria if protected by the ProBion matrix, and the probiotic strains used in this study show promise as a beneficial component of enhancing the microbiome in CRC.”