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Clin Nutr. 2017 Dec;36(6):1465-1472. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2016.11.017. Epub 2016 Nov 24.

Surfacing role of probiotics in cancer prophylaxis and therapy: A systematic review.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Illinois, College of Medicine at Rockford, Rockford, IL 61107, USA.
College of Life Sciences, Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Molecular and Medical Biotechnology, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China.
Department of Plant Biotechnology and Genomics, Centre for Biotechnology and Plant Genomics (CBGP), Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM), Madrid 28040, Spain.
Department of Virology, College of Sciences, Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati 517502, India.
Department of Bionanotechnology, Gachon University, San 65, Bokjeong dong, Sujeong gu, Seongnam si, Gyeonggi do 461 701, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:


Cancers figure among the most important causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Cancer and its associated infections are always complicated even when specific cancer regimens are available. It is well proved that Lactobacillus and other probiotic bacteria can modulate-ameliorate specific mechanisms against various infections including cancers. The present systematic review is intended to focus on the 'cellular and molecular mechanisms' of probiotic bacteria in the prevention and treatment of various cancers. The clinical and experimental findings of various studies explain the mechanisms such as apoptosis, antioxidant activity, immune response and epigenetics and illustrate the role of probiotics in cancer management and prophylaxis. In addition, the present review also discusses the safety aspects of probiotics when they are used in therapeutic and nutritional diet management. However, further investigations are required to reveal the effectiveness of probiotics in cancer treatment in clinical settings.


Cancer; Immune response; Molecular mechanism; Probiotics; Therapy

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