Gut microbiota imbalance is related to sporadic colorectal neoplasms. A pilot study

Lorenzo Polimeno, Michele Barone, Adriana Mosca, Maria Teresa Viggiani, Alfredo Di Leo, Lucantonio Debellis, Marco Trois, Antonella Daniele, Luigi Santacroce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


(1) Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) development is sustained by multiple factors including the gut microbiota, as suggested by a growing body of evidence. Most CRCs have a sporadic (non-hereditary) onset and develop from sporadic colorectal adenomas/polyp (SCA/P). In the present study, we investigated the characteristic of anaerobic microorganisms in stool samples obtained from 20 patients with SCA/P and 20 subjects without evidence of proliferative lesions at colonoscopy (Controls). (2) Material and Methods: We designed this clinical trial using adaptive randomization by minimization. Selective culture media and Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time of Flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry techniques were used to identify the components of microbiota. The data obtained revealed a different variability of gut microbiota in stool samples of controls and SCA/P subjects. (3) Results: The most interesting difference was observed for Bacteroides species, which represent the 50% of all bacterial species identified in the stool samples: two species, Bacteroides stercoris and Parabacteroides distasonis, were found only in the feces from control group, whereas Bacteroides fragilis and Prevotella melaningenica species were presents only in SCA/P patients. Among Gram+ bacteria also, specific species were found in the two groups of feces: Clostridium clostridioforme, Propionibacterium avidum and Pediococcus pentasaceus were identified only in controls, while Eubacterium limosum, Clostridium innocuum and Corybebacterium xerosus were identified in SCA/P stool samples only. (4) Conclusions: Our findings suggest that, compared to control stool samples, a different intestinal microbiota is present in SCA/P stool samples, that may create a micro-environment predisposing for the development of proliferative phenomena. As a consequence, gut microbiota manipulation could be a future target for personalized treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5491
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2019


  • Bacteroides
  • Colorectal cancer (CRC)
  • Dysbiosis
  • Gut microbiota
  • Intestinal polyps
  • Personalized medicine
  • Probiotics
  • Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs)
  • Translational research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

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  • Cite this

    Polimeno, L., Barone, M., Mosca, A., Viggiani, M. T., Leo, A. D., Debellis, L., Trois, M., Daniele, A., & Santacroce, L. (2019). Gut microbiota imbalance is related to sporadic colorectal neoplasms. A pilot study. Applied Sciences (Switzerland), 9(24), [5491].