Dr. med. My-Lan Kha
My research focusses on the role of the intestinal microbiome in the development and progression of colorectal cancer (CRC). CRC is the third most common cancer type and second leading cause of cancer related deaths worldwide. The intestinal microbiome has been recently identified as one of the risk factors. Although it modulates the immune system to limit the colonization of pathogens and produces beneficial metabolites to maintain epithelial homeostasis, several studies revealed its potential to contribute to inflammatory bowel diseases and carcinogenesis.
We are in a process of establishing an in vitro model to investigate the crosstalk between bacterial members of the microbiome and intestinal epithelial and cancer cells. The aim is to identify bacteria-induced signaling pathways that can either promote or inhibit neoplastic transformation. This may enable the development of new preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. Furthermore, we intend to build a biobank for bacteria species isolated from CRC patients for further investigations.