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Antibiotic therapy augments the efficacy of gemcitabine-containing regimens for advanced cancer: a retrospective study

Authors Imai H, Saijo K, Komine K, Otsuki Y, Ohuchi K, Sato Y, Okita A, Takahashi M, Takahashi S, Shirota H, Takahashi M, Ishioka C

Received 14 May 2019

Accepted for publication 16 July 2019

Published 22 August 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 7953—7965

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S215697

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Rudolph Navari


Hiroo Imai,1 Ken Saijo,1 Keigo Komine,1 Yasufumi Otsuki,2 Kota Ohuchi,1 Yuko Sato,1 Akira Okita,2 Masahiro Takahashi,1 Shin Takahashi,2 Hidekazu Shirota,1 Masanobu Takahashi,2 Chikashi Ishioka2

1Department of Medical Oncology, Tohoku University Hospital, Sendai, Japan; 2Department of Clinical Oncology, Institute of Developing, Aging and Cancer, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan

Correspondence: Chikashi Ishioka
Department of Medical Oncology, Tohoku University Hospital, 4-1, Seiryo-machi, Aobaku, Sendai 980-8575, Japan
Tel +81 22 717 8543
Fax +81 22 717 8548
Email chikashi@tohoku.ac.jp

Background: The addition of antibiotics reportedly augments the efficacy of gemcitabine (GEM) in tumor-bearing mice. However, whether this phenomenon is also observed in cancer patients remains unclear. In the present study, we aimed to assess whether antibiotics for treatment or prevention of infection augments treatment efficacies of GEM-containing regimens in patients with any type of cancer.
Methods: Medical records of patients diagnosed with cancer histopathologically and treated with GEM-containing regimens (n=169) were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were assigned into two groups: antibiotics-untreated group (patients who were treated with GEM-containing regimens but without antibiotics) and antibiotics-treated group (patients who were treated with GEM-containing regimens plus antibiotics). Response rates, progression-free survival (PFS) time, and overall survival (OS) time were analyzed for each group.
Results: The response rates of the antibiotics-untreated and antibiotics-treated groups with GEM-containing regimens were 15.1% and 27.6%, respectively. The median PFS times of the antibiotics-untreated and antibiotics-treated groups were 2.5 (95% CI: 1.86–3.73) and 4.9 (95% CI: 3.47–6.0) months, respectively. The median OS times of the antibiotics-untreated and antibiotics-treated groups were 7.53 (95% CI: 5.63–9.57) months and 13.83 (95% CI: 10.83–16.43) months, respectively.
Conclusion: The addition of antibiotics augments the treatment efficacies of GEM-containing regimens, and it may be a potential therapeutic option to improve treatment efficacies of GEM-containing regimens in patients with advanced cancer.

Keywords: antibiotics, bacteria, gemcitabine, multivariate analysis, univariate analysis

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