Anticancer Immunity: Reviewing the Potential of Probiotics

Probiotics as Adjuvants in Anticancer Immunity

Author(s): Arul Prakash Francis, Selvasudha Nandakumar, Alka Ahuja, Majed Abhukhader and Dhanalekshmi Unnikrishnan Meenakshi *

Pp: 185-220 (36)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815165135123040011

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Cancer is a multifactorial disease and is the second leading cause of death globally. The strength of the immune system is critical to fighting against cancer. It has been documented that probiotics play a crucial role in successfully preventing and treating several forms of cancer through microbiota and immunological modulation. Probiotics-related research has gained attention due to its ability to modulate cancer via different pathways like downregulation of oncogene expression, inhibition of kinases, induction of autophagy, reactivation of tumor suppressors, etc. Probiotics are used as an adjuvant in anticancer therapy because of their unique properties. It helps the human immune system function at its best to detect and kill the cells that can become cancerous. Administering a healthy or immune-potentiating probiotic as an immunotherapy adjuvant is a more practical way to deal with several diseases in clinical settings. Apart from direct anticancer effects, microbiome-derived products, especially metabolites, directly affect cancer cells and indirectly act as signals for immunomodulatory action. Probiotics can efficiently produce or release compounds/metabolites with anticarcinogenic activity. Some studies have shown that combining anticancer drugs with probiotics can reduce the harmful effects of chemotherapy while also improving the therapeutic impact. Despite all these concepts and proofs, the regulation of microbial intake as a medication category poses a therapeutic challenge, and the data are still limited. The viability of probiotics as adjuvants offering advantages by targeting cancer and reducing anticancer side effects, particularly in cancer patients, needs to be investigated further.

Keywords: Adjuvants, Anticancer, Bacteria, Cancer, Clinical trials, Dysbiosis, Dead probiotics, Gut, Gut homeostasis, Immunity, Immunotherapy, Intestine, Live probiotics, Microbiota, Metabolites, Microbiome, Mutation, Probiotics, Patients, Treatment.

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