Food Innovation Center

Collaborating for a healthier, hunger-free world.

Can a black-raspberry drink restore oral microbiomes damaged by smoking and prevent cancers of the mouth?

There is great interest in understanding the role of the microbiome in cancer. Researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) are carrying out studies investigating whether smoking-related changes in the oral microbiome raise the risk of disease. 

Currently, four OSUCCC – James researchers, including FIC Co-Director Steven Clinton, MD, PhD, The John B. and Jane T. McCoy Chair in Cancer Research and leader of the OSUCCC-James Molecular Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention Program (MCCP); FIC Co-Director Steven Schwartz, PhD, professor of food science and technology in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; FIC member Purnima Kumar, DDS, PhD, associate professor of periodontology in the College of Dentistry; and FIC member Christopher Weghorst, PhD, professor of environmental health sciences in the College of Public Health, are collaborating to learn whether a food-based approach using a novel black raspberry drink might help prevent oral cancer, with a focus on how the microbiome may play a key role in this relationship. 

The study, titled “Interactive Omics: Black Raspberry Metabolites and the Oral Microbiome in Smokers,” is supported by a five-year, $3.1 million grant (CA188250) from the National Cancer Institute. Read the article in the Spring 2016 issue of Frontiers.