Gut flora affects the effectiveness of oral medications
The gut microbiome appears to affect how people with prostate cancer respond to oral medications. This indicated the important role bacteria in the gut play in treating cancer. Can cancer treatment even be improved by stimulating the intestinal flora?
What is the role of the colon in the oral treatment of prostate cancer? (Image: BillionPhotos.com/Stock.Adobe.com)
Certain bacteria in the gut may influence the effectiveness of oral treatment for prostate cancer, according to a new study conducted in collaboration with researchers at the Lawson Health Research Institute and the Schulich School of Medicine. The results were published in the English-language journal “Nature Communications”.
Improved cancer treatment with real bacteria
More and more ways are being identified by which the human microbiome influences the development, progression and treatment of cancer, the researchers report. “Our study highlights a key interaction between an anti-cancer drug and the gut microbiome that leads to beneficial organisms with anti-cancer properties,” says study author Brendan Daisley of the Schulich School of Medicine.
Target of conventional anticancer therapies
Previous treatments for prostate cancer aimed to remove special hormones (called androgens) from the body, which are responsible for the growth of prostate cancer. Unfortunately, these androgen deprivation therapies are not always effective. So it makes sense to look for alternative treatments, the team adds.
Abiraterone acetate is taken orally
Abiraterone acetate is a powerful therapy that is used to treat prostate cancer when it is resistant to other forms of treatment. While abiraterone acetate also works to reduce androgens in the body, it does so through a different mechanism, and unlike traditional therapies, it’s taken orally, the research group explains.
Benefits of oral ingestion?
“When drugs are taken orally, they end up in the intestinal tract, where they come in contact with billions of microorganisms. While it has long been a mystery why abiraterone acetate is so effective, our team wondered if the gut microbiome played a role, ”says study author Dr. Jeremy. Burton of the Schulich School of Medicine in a press release.
Stool samples were analyzed
The study included 68 people with prostate cancer, including those treated with abiraterone acetate. The research group took stool samples, analyzed them, and carried out additional experiments.
The gut microbiome has changed
It was found that participants’ gut microbes changed dramatically after taking abiraterone acetate. Bacteria in the gut metabolized the drug, resulting in a significant increase in the bacteria Akkermansia muciniphila.
Benefits of Akkermansia muciniphila
The importance of this bacteria has recently been studied in several large cancer studies. The bacteria have been shown to provide a better response to immunotherapeutic agents in cancer, as well as a wide range of other health benefits.
Increased production of vitamin K2 noted
The increase in Akkermansia muciniphila also led to an increase in the production of vitamin K2, known for its anti-cancer properties and against tumor growth, experts report.
Role of the gut microbiome in treatment
The team also studied the effects of androgen breakdown on the microbiome. Abiraterone acetate and traditional androgen deprivation therapies have resulted in a decline in the number of organisms using androgens. “These results clearly show that the gut microbiome plays a role in the response to treatment,” said Dr. Burton.
Improved treatment of diseases?
The team hopes to further research the interactions between drugs and microorganisms. Researchers aim to use the microbiome to improve treatment outcomes for a variety of diseases.
Microbiota transplants to treat cancer?
In another study, researchers are investigating whether fecal microbiota transplants from a healthy person can alter the microbiome of people with melanoma so that organisms such as Akkermansia muciniphila can multiply and the response to it. immunotherapy is improved. They also plan to study whether microbiome analysis can be used to predict response to specific therapies.
Much more research is needed in this area, but scientists hope that one day they can analyze the human microbiome in detail to determine the best treatment or perhaps even treatment results by specifically influencing the microbiome. improve. (as)
Author and source information
This text conforms to the requirements of specialized medical literature, medical directives and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.
Lawson Health Research Institute: Gut Microbiome May Influence Cancer Patients’ Response to Oral Therapy, Study Suggests (Published 09/29/2020), Lawson Health Research Institute Brendan A. Daisley, Ryan M. Chanyi, Kamilah Abdur-Rashid, Kait F. Al, Shaeley Gibbons et al .: Abiraterone acetate preferentially enriches for the commensal gut Akkermansia muciniphila in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer, in Nature Communications (published 09/24/2020 ), Nature Communications
This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. It cannot replace a visit to the doctor.