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Bacteria in the intestines appear to modulate how the immune system responds to certain anticancer therapies, report 2 international groups of researchers.
One team found that anticancer immunotherapy and platinum chemotherapy were each less effective in mice with disrupted gut microbiota (Iida N et al. Science. 2013;342:967-970). Additional experiments revealed that intestinal bacteria were needed to activate an inflammatory response against tumors.
Hampton T. Gut Bacteria May Determine Effectiveness of Anticancer Therapies. JAMA. 2014;311(1):19. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.285449