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Bacterial biofilms found in colon cancer patients could be used as a clinical diagnostic tool

Since the first “catalog” of the normal bacterial makeup of the human body was published in 2012, numerous connections between illness and disturbances in the human microbiota have been found. This week, scientists report yet another: Cancerous tumors in the (the part nearest to the small intestine) are characterized by biofilms, which are dense clumps of bacterial cells encased in a self-produced matrix.

[Bacteria forming a mixed biofilm on colon cancer tissue]
Bacteria forming a mixed biofilm on tissue.
Credit: , , and Christine Dejea.


Dejea CM et al (2014) Microbiota organization is a distinct feature of proximal colorectal cancers. PNAS: doi: 10.1073/pnas.1406199111.

Marine Biological Laboratory