Systematic review and meta-analysis investigating the efficacy and safety of probiotics in people with cancer
- 644 Downloads
Probiotics are living microorganisms that confer a health benefit on the host when administered. This systematic review and meta-analysis investigates the efficacy and safety of probiotics in adult and paediatric patients diagnosed with cancer.
A systematic review and meta-analysis was undertaken (PROSPERO registration: CRD42016050252). Randomised controlled trials (RCT), identified through screening multiple databases were included for analysis of efficacy. Non-randomised controlled trials and case reports were included for safety analysis. Outcomes included the reduction in the incidence and severity of diarrhoea, and adverse events. Where possible, data were combined for meta-analysis using a random-effects model. Planned subgroup analyses were not possible through marked heterogeneity of study characteristics.
Twenty one studies (N = 2982 participants) were included for assessment of efficacy. Probiotics may reduce the incidence of diarrhoea in patients with cancer [odds ratio (OR) = 0.52, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.34–0.78, 95% prediction interval (PI) 0.3–0.92, I-sq 36.9%, 5 studies] and the duration of pyrexia [standardised mean difference 0.39 days, 95% CI 0.35–0.43, I-sq 0.01%, 5 studies]. Twenty five studies (N = 2242) were included in the safety analysis. Five case reports showed probiotic-related bacteraemia/fungaemia/positive blood cultures. Definitions and reporting of adverse events were variable and inconsistent.
There remain insufficient studies to assess the true effect of probiotics in people with cancer. Meta-analysis suggests probiotics may be beneficial but further studies are still required. Improved reporting of outcomes and adverse events in clinical trials are required to improve accuracy and confidence of conclusions drawn in future updates.
KeywordsProbiotics Randomised controlled trials (RCT) Cancer
- 1.Schlundt, J. Report of a Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on Evaluation of Health and Nutritional Properties of Probiotics in Food Including Powder Milk with Live Lactic Acid Bacteria. FAO/WHO. 2012 October 2012; Available from: https://web.archive.org/web/20121022161702/http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/fs_management/en/probiotics.pdfGoogle Scholar
- 3.Goldenberg, J.Z., et al.,(2015) Probiotics for the prevention of pediatric antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 22(12)Google Scholar
- 4.Pammi, M. and G. Suresh, Enteral lactoferrin supplementation for prevention of sepsis and necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infants. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2017. 28(6)Google Scholar
- 5.Liu, M.M., et al.,(2017) Probiotics for prevention of radiation-induced diarrhea: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. PLoS One,12(6)Google Scholar
- 11.H Hassan, M. Rompola, Bob Phillips,(2016) The efficacy and safety of probiotics in people with cancer: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis, PROSPEROGoogle Scholar
- 14.Dissemination, C.f.R.a(2008), Systematic Reviews: CRD's guidance for undertaking reviews in health care,University of York: CRDGoogle Scholar
- 16.Team, R,(2015) RStudio: integrated development for R. RStudio, Inc.Google Scholar
- 17.The CONSORT Statement. 2016; Available from: http://www.consort-statement.org/
- 18.COMET intitiative. [cited 2017; Available from: http://www.comet-initiative.org/