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Am J Gastroenterol. 1998 Dec;93(12):2491-500.

Prospective case-cohort study of intestinal colonization with enterococci that produce extracellular superoxide and the risk for colorectal adenomas or cancer.

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1
Department of Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, and Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Oklahoma City 73104, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to determine whether intestinal colonization with enterococci that produce extracellular superoxide (O2*-), a free radical implicated in the development of colorectal cancer, is associated with these lesions or their precursors.

METHODS:

A prospective case-cohort study was performed by isolating enterococci from stools of consecutive patients undergoing colonoscopy who had no prior history of colonoscopy or colorectal cancer. A food frequency questionnaire was also administered to control for dietary factors known to affect the risk for these lesions.

RESULTS:

Among 159 evaluable participants were 77 with no precancerous or cancerous pathology, 61 with adenomas <2 cm, 10 with adenomas > or =2 cm, and 11 with cancer. Regression analyses found no associations for those subjects with adenomas of any size or with cancer and colonization with O2*--producing enterococci, any nutrient, or age. For those patients with large adenomas > or = 2 cm or cancer, however, significant associations were noted for age (OR 1.94 per decade, 95% CI 1.2-3.5), beta-carotene (OR 0.44 per 500 microg/1000 kcal/day, 95% CI 0.2-0.8), vitamin A (OR 3.20 per 500 microg/1000 kcal/day, 95% CI 1.2-8.9), and vitamin E (OR 0.09 per 10 mg/ 1000 kcal/day, 95% CI 0.006-0.9), but not colonization with O2*--producing enterococci. Second stools collected 1 yr later, however, often contained dissimilar enterococcal flora, undermining an important study assumption.

CONCLUSIONS:

Significant associations were found for those with large adenomas or cancer (but not small adenomas), with age, and with foods enriched for vitamin A, vitamin E, and beta-carotene. An association between colonization with O2*--producing enterococci and colorectal adenomas or cancer, however, could not be ascertained, possibly because intestinal enterococcal flora changes over time, leaving a potentially cohesive hypothesis of colon cancer and risk factors as yet unanswered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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