Antibiotics may prevent anticancer drugs from killing tumors
Courtesy of Chantal Ecobichon and Christine Schmitt/Pasteur Institute
Cancer patients may carry powerful weapons against tumors in their intestines. Two independent studies indicate that intestinal bacteria assist chemotherapy drugs in fighting off tumors.
Gut microbes are necessary for several types of anticancer therapies to work properly, the studies published in the Nov. 22 Science suggest. In experiments using mice, antibiotics hampered the ability of two types of anticancer treatments to combat lymphoma and skin and colon tumors, Noriho Iida of the U.S. National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Md., and colleagues report. In mice treated with antibiotics, immune therapy and a platinum-containing chemotherapy drug called oxaliplatin failed to fight off cancer, the researchers found.