Department of Basic Sciences, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, 525 Pine Street, Scranton, PA 18509, USA
The signing of the National Cancer Act of 1971 by President Nixon marked the beginning of our war on cancer. More than 45 years later, the war is still going steady, with the enemy being almost as strong as in 1971. Furthermore, the increasing rates of obesity not only among adults, but among children and adolescents, are the likely cause for the 30-year trend of colon cancer (CC) becoming a disease of the younger population in the U.S. These trends, however, have not spurred the development of novel screening approaches for CC. Considering the need for a sensitive and non-invasive detection of early stage neoplastic lesions in the colon, we propose the development of a test based on a novel concept - the concept of induced biomarkers. The proposal is based upon our findings that the food additives propolis and gamma-cyclodextrin (gCD) (a) decrease the neoplastic burden in normal weight and obese ApcMin mice, a model of early stage intestinal neoplasia, and (b) elicit significant changes in the serum proteome in ApcMin mice. We posit that gCD and propolis induce the release of neoplasm-associated biomarkers in systemic circulation (e.g., metabolites, neoplastic, apoptotic, and immune response proteins), and these markers could be used to detect early stage intestinal neoplasms. Additional dietary bioactives may also elicit a complement of induced markers. The hypothesis could be ascertained by utilizing a mouse model, the Apc+/1638Nmice, as well as through human subject studies that integrate proteomics and metabolomics analyses. The concept of detecting inducible markers of colonic neoplasms is novel, and is substantiated by the significant physiological effects of gCD and propolis on neoplastic colonic cells in culture and on early neoplastic development in ApcMinmice. The long-term objective is to develop a minimally invasive method that detects early stage neoplastic development in the human colon.
Keywords: colon cancer, inducible markers, metabolites, ApcMin mice.