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Bacterium promotes colorectal tumor growth

Published on 18 July 2017 back to previous

Recent research finds a bacterium that drives tumor growth in colorectal cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer-related death.

The human gut normally hosts tens of trillions of diverse microorganisms. While these microbes are essential for human health, research has also shown a connection between some of the gut's bacteria and different intestinal diseases, including colorectal cancer.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, with approximately 140,000 U.S. individuals being diagnosed with the disease every year, and more than 50,000 people dying from it.

New research examines the link between a bacterium called Streptococcus gallolyticus subspecies gallolyticus (Sg) and colorectal cancer.

Previous studies have pointed to a link between colorectal cancer and Sg, but until now, it was not exactly clear if or how Sg promoted the condition.

Specifically, it was not known whether the bacterium itself actively drives colorectal cancer, or if Sg is rather a consequence of the disease - that is, if cancerous tumors are a favorable environment for the development of Sg.

The new study set out to examine the precise mechanism that may underlie the connection between Sg and colorectal cancer.

The first author of the study is Ritesh Kumar, of the Health Science Center of Texas A&M University in Bryan, and the findings were published in the journal PLOS Pathogens.

This article was sourced from Medical News Today. Click here to read the full article.

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