Rotten egg smell and colon cancer
Hydrogen sulfide, the foul-smelling gas produced by rotten eggs, may turn out to be a key element in treatment colon cancer. As eggs rot, they produce the gas, which also, it turns out, is important to colon cancer metabolism. According to research from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, colon cancer cells produce large amounts of hydrogen sulfide, which allows the cancer to grow and survive. Colon cancer "thrives" on the smelly substance, using it to make energy, divide and continue to invade their host, according to the research team.
In this study, the researchers observed mice which had had colon cancer cells implanted into them. After withholding hydrogen sulfide, the scientists saw that the tumors grew much more slowly. The cancer cells also decreased in angiogenesis, the process by which a tumor hijacks oxygen and nutrients from the host for its own use.
The researchers determined that blocking certain chemicals could curtail cancer cell growth, which could lead to new treatment options.