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These bacteria may egg on colon cancer

Streptococcus gallolyticus spurred tumor growth in lab dishes and in mice

2:26pm, July 13, 2017
Streptococcus gallolyticus

GROWTH SPUR  An intestinal bacterium called Streptococcus gallolyticus (white, growing in a petri dish) has previously been linked to colon cancer. Now researchers are getting clues about how the bacterium promotes tumor growth.

A bad bacterium may make colon cancer worse.

Streptococcus gallolyticus spurred growth of some colon cancer cells in lab dishes and in mice, researchers report July 13 in PLOS Pathogens. S. gallolyticus stimulates a biochemical chain reaction that scientists already knew is involved in the development of colon cancer, the researchers discovered.

Bacteria had to be in direct contact with tumor cells to speed growth, but exactly how the bacteria do that isn’t yet known. Further investigation could help researchers find ways to block the microbe’s action, leading to better treatments for colorectal cancer, says microbiologist Yi Xu of Texas A&M University Health Science Center in Houston.

People who have heart valve or blood infections of S. gallolyticus (previously known as S. bovis) often also have colorectal

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