Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chemotherapy: When intestinal bacteria provide reinforcement

Date:
November 22, 2013
Source:
INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale)
Summary:
Research has led to a rather surprising discovery on the manner in which cancer chemotherapy treatments act more effectively with the help of the intestinal flora (also known as the intestinal microbiota).

Research jointly conducted by investigators at Institut Gustave Roussy, Inserm, Institut Pasteur and INRA (French National Agronomic Research Institute) has led to a rather surprising discovery on the manner in which cancer chemotherapy treatments act more effectively with the help of the intestinal flora (also known as the intestinal microbiota). Indeed, the researchers have just shown that the efficacy of one of the molecules most often used in chemotherapy relies to an extent on its capacity to mobilize certain bacteria from the intestinal flora toward the bloodstream and lymph nodes. Once inside the lymph nodes, these bacteria stimulate fresh immune defenses which then enhance the body's ability to fight the malignant tumor.

Related Articles


Results of this work are published in the journal Science on 22 November 2013.

The intestinal microbiota is made up of 100,000 billion bacteria. It is a genuine organ, since the bacterial species that comprise it carry out functions crucial to our health, such as the elimination of substances that are foreign to the body (and potentially toxic), or keeping the pathogens that contaminate us at bay. They also ensure the degradation of ingested food, for better intestinal absorption and optimal metabolism. These millions of bacteria colonize the intestine from birth, and play a key role in the maturation of the immune defenses.

However, the bacterial species that make up the intestinal microbiota vary from one individual to another, and the presence or absence of one or another bacterial species seems to influence the occurrence of some diseases, or, conversely, may protect us.

In the cancer area, the French team directed by Prof Laurence Zitvogel, Director of Inserm Unit 1015, "tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy," at Institut Gustave Roussy, in close collaboration with Institut Pasteur (Dr Ivo Gomperts Boneca, "Biology and Genetics of the Bacterial Cell Wall" Unit) and researchers at INRA (Drs Patricia Lepage and Joël Doré, Micalis Unit, "Food Microbiology in the Service of Health"), has just provided evidence that the intestinal flora stimulates an individual's immune responses to combat cancer during chemotherapy.

Cyclophosphamide is one of the most widely used drugs in chemotherapy. However, like any treatment, it involves side effects (inflammation of the mucosa etc.), and disrupts the normal balance of the intestinal microbiota. Certain bacteria (of the Gram+ group of bacteria) can pass the intestinal barrier and enter the bloodstream and lymph nodes.

These bacteria, once in the general circulation of the body, may be considered harmful, and the body generates an immune response.

"This chain reaction, a side effect of the treatment, actually turns out to be very useful," explains Laurence Zitvogel. "Surprisingly, the immune response directed against these bacteria helps the patient to better fight his/her tumor, by stimulating fresh immune defence mechanisms."

More specifically, immunization against bacteria leads to the recruitment of effector lymphocytes different to those mobilised by chemotherapy. Their role consists of helping anti-tumor lymphocytes to stem the growth of tumors.

To verify these observations in mice, researchers suppressed all Gram+ bacteria from their intestinal microbiota. Results showed that the efficacy of the chemotherapy was reduced. The researchers also suggest that some antibiotics used during chemotherapy may destroy these Gram+ bacteria, and thus negate their beneficial effect.

"Now that these "beneficial" bacteria that potentiate the anti-tumor immune response have been identified, we should soon succeed in supplying more to the body, especially via pro- or prebiotics and/or a specific diet," the researcher concludes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Viaud, F. Saccheri, G. Mignot, T. Yamazaki, R. Daillere, D. Hannani, D. P. Enot, C. Pfirschke, C. Engblom, M. J. Pittet, A. Schlitzer, F. Ginhoux, L. Apetoh, E. Chachaty, P.-L. Woerther, G. Eberl, M. Berard, C. Ecobichon, D. Clermont, C. Bizet, V. Gaboriau-Routhiau, N. Cerf-Bensussan, P. Opolon, N. Yessaad, E. Vivier, B. Ryffel, C. O. Elson, J. Dore, G. Kroemer, P. Lepage, I. G. Boneca, F. Ghiringhelli, L. Zitvogel. The Intestinal Microbiota Modulates the Anticancer Immune Effects of Cyclophosphamide. Science, 2013; 342 (6161): 971 DOI: 10.1126/science.1240537

Cite This Page:

INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale). "Chemotherapy: When intestinal bacteria provide reinforcement." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131122115758.htm>.
INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale). (2013, November 22). Chemotherapy: When intestinal bacteria provide reinforcement. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131122115758.htm
INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale). "Chemotherapy: When intestinal bacteria provide reinforcement." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131122115758.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 27, 2014) — A British palaeontologist has discovered a new species of dinosaur while studying fossils in a Canadian museum. Pentaceratops aquilonius was related to Triceratops and lived at the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 75 million years ago. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins