What role do bacteria in our stomach play in the development of cancer?
Professors Figueiredo and Machado and their team are studying which types of stomach bacteria might contribute to stomach cancer development.
Around 7,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with stomach cancer every year. Stomach cancer can take decades to develop. In some people long-term infection with a common type of bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) increases stomach cancer risk. Infection leads to the destruction of cells that produce acid, changing the stomach environment and allowing other types of bacteria to grow. The researchers believe these different bacteria might also contribute to stomach cancer development, and in this project they want to find out if they are right.
The team will study the type of bacteria found in the stomachs of different people who are at different stages- from healthy to those with stomach cancer. They hope that by defining the types of bacteria besides H. pylori which live in the stomach under these changing conditions, their work will help lead to novel strategies to stop stomach cancer.