Common chemo drugs and immunotherapies improved by good bacteria

Common chemo drugs and immunotherapies improved by good bacteria

Yet again, probiotics and a healthy gut microbiome have been shown to make chemotherapy and other anti-cancer drugs such as immunotherapy, work much better and help in eliminating cancer-causing organisms and in reducing side-effects. This runs counter to the 'advice' given by many UK oncologists and their nurses. There are now several important studies.

The latest study (1), finds that bacteria present in probiotics, particularly the common Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium microbes, actually help cause cancer cell death and they reduce side-effects by reducing oxidative stress. They also can reduce cancer-producing microorganisms such as Fusobacterium. Studies also show that gut microbes not only enhance the action of chemotherapy drugs but also reduce the side effects of these medications. Additionally, gut microbes reduce immunotherapy toxicity, in particular, the presence of Bacteroidetes or Bifidobacterium decreases the development of colitis by Ipilimumab therapy.

Bifidobacterium strains decrease cancer cell proliferation by blocking signalling pathways. They reduce side-effects by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines.

In a second study, Cyclophosphamide, a chemotherapy drug known to thousands of women with breast cancer as a part of their FEC or FEC-T treatment programme, and to advanced ovarian and lung cancer patients, has been shown to actually rely on gut bacteria to deliver a good result (2).

Previous studies had already suggested this need, but here researchers showed that at least two commensal bacteria strains Enterococcus hirae and Barnesiella intestinihominis were active during treatment with the drug.

Go To: Gut bacteria increase immune response with drugs

The E. hirae actually moved from the small intestine to secondary lymphoid organs and increased the intratumoral response (the CD8/Treg ratio).

B. intestinihominis accumulates in the colon and promotes the infiltration of IFN-γ-producing γδT cells in cancer lesions.

Apart from this biochemical activity, there was a much greater immune response with the activity of these two bacteria and also a longer progression-free survival time when they were actively involved, particularly in advanced lung and ovarian cancer patients treated with chemo-immunotherapy.

Chris Woollams, founder of CANCERactive and former-Oxford University Biochemist said, “Actually, these findings are quite worrying. These old drugs – cyclophosphamide is an alkylating drug first approved in 1959 – are widely used, yet clearly the approving authorities had no clear, full idea on how they worked! Secondly, these same drugs, and/or the drugs they are simultaneously used with, severely damage the gut microbiome. We now know this makes their efficacy WORSE. We have seen exactly that with the new immunotherapies too. We always give probiotics, Apple cider Vinegar and even some fresh sauerkraut to patients having chemotherapy or immunotherapy in PPs. We also use prebiotic foods, such as ellagitannin, soluble fibre etc. We reduce the side-effects, and help the drugs work better. It's not rocket science!”. 

Go To: Chris Woollams’  Practitioner's strength, Probio8 Max



2. Immunity (Volume 45, Issue 4, p931–943, 18 October 2016).

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