Fecal microbiota transplantation helps restore beneficial bacteria in cancer patients
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IMAGE: The Human Microbiome Project, launched by NIH in 2007, provided a glimpse of the microbial diversity of healthy humans and is exploring the possible relationship between human diseases and the… view more 

Credit: Jonathan Bailey, NHGRI

Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have shown that autologous fecal microbiota transplantation (auto-FMT) is a safe and effective way to help replenish beneficial gut bacteria in cancer patients who require intense antibiotics during allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. In their study, patients who underwent the procedure were randomly assigned into two groups: one group received standard care and the other received auto-FMT. The researchers found that auto-FMT resulted in the recovery of beneficial gut bacteria to near baseline levels within days, thus restoring patients’ digestive, immune and other essential functions. With standard care, beneficial bacteria typically take many weeks to recover from antibiotic treatment, leaving patients at risk of other infectious diseases, including Clostridium difficile.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, provided funding for part of the project. The study report appears in Science Translational Medicine.

“This important study suggests that clinical intervention using auto-FMT can safely reverse the disruptive effects

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