Cancer Prevention Program
Epidemiologic studies that link diet to cancer and disease risk suggest that microbial metabolism of dietary components produces chemoproventive or chemoprotective agents. Thus, intestinal bacteria may be associated with cancer risk via the production and metabolism of carcinogens. Inter-individual differences in intestinal bacteria exist, which may ultimately translate to differences in cancer susceptibility. Thus, intestinal microbial communities which differ in composition and activity between individuals may affect host susceptibility to disease risk. Newly developed molecular methods are available for bacterial identification; however, their utility in population-based human studies has not been established. This study involves the development of a quantitative, high-throughput method to characterize human intestinal microbial communities.