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Common Antibiotic could boost Immune System for Cancer, says research

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Published on : Dec 13, 2019

For cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy, the common antibiotic vancomycin can boost immune system and enhance the antitumor effect of the treatment, according to findings of trials in mice. Meanwhile, the antibiotic works by altering gram-positive bacteria in the gut, says findings.

The results of the study carried out by a team of researchers at Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania is published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Worldwide, cancer is the second leading cause of death. Cancer was related to 9.6 million deaths worldwide in 2018, with breast cancer and lung cancer most common. Colon cancer and lung cancer accounting for highest number of deaths.

For cancer treatment, radiation therapy is one of the most common line of treatment. According to statistics, approximately 50% cancer patient undergo radiation therapy in combination with chemotherapy at some point of the treatment.

In the fight against cancer, researchers have detected something significant. Researchers put forth that higher doses of radiation therapy, but in less frequency can be more effective for boosting the immune system.

For abscopal Effect, Researchers display Interest for Combining Radiation Therapy with Immunotherapy

Furthermore, radiation therapy if administered this way called - hypofractionated therapy - activates an immunological chain reaction. The therapy results in destruction of distant, nonradiated tumors as well as the ones in the vicinity. The action of destruction of distant tumors called abscopal effect.

Recently, for clinical studies, combining radiation therapy with immunotherapy has sought interest of researchers. Combining this, researchers hope to attain an effect similar to abscopal effect. It works by turning the way of treating a tumor locally into a one by treating it systematically.

Previously, studies suggest that gut bacteria mediate the immune response.

Meanwhile, researchers of the new paper seek if altering the gut bacteria using an antibiotic can balance the side-effects of radiation therapy.