Chemotherapeutics are commonly used for tumor therapy, but they trigger numerous side effects which put into perspective the delicate question of the risk-benefit ratio of a therapeutic strategy. Patients know this only too well and intensive research is focused on minimizing or preventing side effects to improve the quality of life in people undergoing cancer treatment. Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy represents one of the prevalent and potentially disabling side effects due to the taxane administration, such as Paclitaxel, which has its main action at the gut level, thus altering the gut microbiota leading to acute dysbiosis and modifying its physiological and psychological functions. Based on these observations, the research team coordinated by Roberto Russo at the Federico II University of Naples published an interesting article on Biomedicines. The use of nutraceuticals is receiving increasing attention from the scientific community due to their phytochemical, biological, and pharmacological properties, and Russo and colleagues tested the efficacy of a probiotic formulation, SLAB51 (Ormendes SA), in preventing paclitaxel-induced neuropathy in a mouse model. Interestingly, results showed that SLAB51 formulation was able to keep the gut integrity, preserving its functionality, and to prevent the mechanical and cold hypersensitivity induced in paclitaxel-mice. Additionally, ex-vivo analysis showed that SLAB51 administration increased the expression of opioid and cannabinoid receptors in the spinal cord, prevented nerve fiber damage in the paws and modulated the serum proinflammatory cytokines concentration.

These preliminary data suggest a possible application for SLAB51 formulation to counteract the side effects of Paclitaxel, even in long-term therapies, in order to support a healthy gut microbiota and preserve the integrity of the intestinal barrier, reducing the nerve fibers damage and inflammation.

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(1)  Cuozzo M. et al. Effects of Chronic Oral Probiotic Treatment in Paclitaxel-Induced Neuropathic Pain Biomedicines 2021 Mar 30;9(4):346.
doi: 10.3390/biomedicines9040346

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Categories: Cancer, Probiotics, Slab51

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