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19 - 09 - 2017

Chemotherapy: antibiotics to the rescue?

Researchers are discovering using in vitro tests, mouse models and human tissue that antibiotics help bypass chemotherapy resistance.
 
Indeed, bacteria may affect the effectiveness of cancer therapies. Studies of colon cancer models have shown that bacteria can inactivate the anti-cancer drug gemcitabine.
 
In a mouse model of this tumor, researchers have recently shown that the presence of certain bacteria in the tumor caused resistance to gemcitabine treatment and that using antibiotics against this bacterium suppressed this resistance.

 



Moreover, these researchers found that out of 113 tumors of the human pancreas, 86 were contaminated with bacteria capable of inactivating gemcitabine, which could be an important cause of resistance to anticancer treatments.
 
This interaction between bacteria and anti-cancer drugs is a new concept that needs to be studied more broadly to clarify its importance regarding the failures of certain chemotherapies. Future studies might show that considering the administration of antibiotics might change the disease outcome for patients.