Antibiotics may impact cancer treatment efficacy
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IMAGE: There is mounting laboratory evidence that in the increasingly complex, targeted treatment of cancer, judicious use of antibiotics also is needed to ensure these infection fighters don’t have the unintended… view more 

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (March 5, 2018) – Antibiotic use is known to have a near-immediate impact on our gut microbiota and long-term use may leave us drug resistant and vulnerable to infection.

Now there is mounting laboratory evidence that in the increasingly complex, targeted treatment of cancer, judicious use of antibiotics also is needed to ensure these infection fighters don’t have the unintended consequence of also hampering cancer treatment, scientists report.

Any negative impact of antibiotics on cancer treatment appears to go back to the gut and to whether the microbiota is needed to help activate the T cells driving treatment response, says Dr. Gang Zhou, immunologist at the Georgia Cancer Center and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

“It likely depends on what types of therapy physicians are giving to patients and how often they also are giving them antibiotics,” says Zhou, corresponding author of the study in the journal Oncotarget.

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