KWF grant for Boleij, Nagtegaal, Dutilh and Hoogerbrugge

Boleij, Annemarie 2015.jpg

Dr. Annemarie Boleij of the Dept. of Pathology has been awarded a 477.500 Euro KWF grant of the Dutch cancer society on a project entitled: Intestinal bacterial biofilms in Lynch syndrome patients as disease markers for colorectal cancer.

The 4-year multi-disciplinary project within the theme “Tumours of the digestive tract”, integrates the expertise of the Dept. of Pathology, Prof. Nagtegaal, Dept. of Human Genetics, Prof. Nicoline Hoogerbrugge and the Center for Molecular and Biomolecular Informatics, Dr. Bas Dutilh.



Dr. Annemarie Boleij 

Patients with the Lynch syndrome, caused by germline defects in one of the mismatch repair genes, are at increased risk for developing colorectal adenomas and carcinomas. In the clinic we observe that some patients with the Lynch syndrome frequently develop adenomas, while others never present with colonic polyps. Recent studies by us and others underline the role of the microbiota in colorectal cancer development. Dense bacterial biofilms and tissue invading microbes in the colonic mucosa of sporadic colorectal cancer patients have been identified that are not present in healthy people. We believe that similar bacterial patterns and mechanisms play a role in patients with the Lynch syndrome. Within this project we will study the composition and function of microbial biofilms in the context of adenoma development in the Lynch syndrome.

The ultimate goal is to identify bacterial species and functions that can predict the development of adenomas and carcinomas, and thus distinguish between Lynch syndrome patients with a low and high risk for adenoma development.

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Prof. Iris Nagtegaal                  Prof. Nicoline Hoogerbrugge  Dr. Bas Dutilh

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