Specific bacteria can temper chemotherapy side effects


Date: 03.06.2021

A new Northwestern University study found that specific types of gut bacteria can protect other good bacteria from cancer treatments -- mitigating harmful, drug-induced changes to the gut microbiome. By metabolizing chemotherapy drugs, the protective bacteria could temper short- and long-term side effects of treatment.

Eventually, the research could potentially lead to new dietary supplements, probiotics or engineered therapeutics to help boost cancer patients' gut health. Because chemotherapy-related microbiome changes in children are linked to health complications later in life -- including obesity, asthma and diabetes -- discovering new strategies for protecting the gut is particularly important for pediatric cancer patients.

The team then exposed these mock gut communities" to doxorubicin and found increased survival among sensitive strains. The researchers concluded that, by degrading doxorubicin, certain bacteria made the drugs less toxic to the rest of the gut.

Although the research highlights a promising new pathway for potentially protecting cancer patients, Hartmann cautions that translating the new findings into treatments is still far off.

Based on: ScienceDaily

#News #Health #Medical #NorthwesternUniversity#Whealthnews


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