Johns Hopkins Clinical Research Study

Biofilm Epidemiology and Mechanisms in Colon Cancer

IRB Number: IRB00094020
Principal Investigator: Sears, Cynthia

Study Description:

Colorectal cancer is a leading preventable cause of illness and death in the United States. Increasing information suggests that bacteria in the colon contribute to the development of colon cancer in certain people. This proposal will further define how colon bacteria contribute to colon cancer and the mechanisms by which organized bacterial structures called biofilms induce cancer-promoting changes in the colon mucosa.


This study will enroll ~2000 subjects who are scheduled to undergo a colonoscopy.  During the procedure, colon biopsies will be collected from normal looking colon and examined for the presence of biofilms.  Additional biospecimens (stool, urine, blood and oral swish) will be collected to characterize the GI microbiota and associated metabolites. These factors will be correlated with the presence of colon polyps and abnormal or cancerous cells.  To examine the durability of biofilms, a small number of biofilm positive subjects will be recruited to a second arm of the study and they will be provided with a small monetary compensation for providing additional colon biopsies. 


This study will inform us of the significance of human colonic biofilms and may lead to the development of new tools for the early detection and prevention of CRC.


Eligibility Criteria:

___ Age 18 to 85 having a colonoscopy


___ No Inflammatory Bowel Disease


___ Not pregnant,  prisoner, or institutional person


___ No use of Coumadin, warfarin or antiplatelet drugs (i.e., Plavix, Pradaxa, Savaysa,

                        Xarelto) (ASA and NSAIDS allowed)

Recruitment Contact Name:Emma Spence
Contact Phone:443-287-4080
Contact E-Mail: espenc13@jhmi.edu

Location of Study Visits:

Study will provide compensation: Yes


  • Colonoscopy
  • Colorectal Neoplasms
  • Biofilms