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expert reaction to conference presentation on gut bacteria and causing bowel cancer

An abstract, presented at the 2019 NCRI Cancer Conference, reports on a possible relationship between gut bacteria and bowl cancer risk. 

 

Dr Mangesh Thorat, Deputy Director (Clinical) of the Cancer Prevention Trials Unit (Barts CTU), Centre for Cancer Prevention, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), said:

“ The information available about this study is insufficient to evaluate it properly. However, based on the available information, this appears to be a preliminary type of study, prone to several limitations. 

“Note: Robustness of Mendelian randomisation studies is dependent on how accurately the instrumental variable (IV) represents the exposure. Results are less meaningful if IV is not highly accurate. The lower limit of effect size (2%) quoted is also close to zero indicating possibility of no effect.”

 

Prof Robin Weiss, Emeritus Professor of Viral Oncology, University College London (UCL), said:

“I think Dr Wade should have identified the species of Bacteroides. There also may be issues with this research which can’t be seen without access to the full study data.”

 

‘Exploring the causal role of the human gut microbiome on colorectal cancer: application of Mendelian randomization’ by Wade was presented at the 2019 NCRI Cancer Conference on Monday 4th November.

There is no paper as this is not published work.

 

Declared interests

None received.

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