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Probiotics as medications have previously been shown to change intestinal microbial characteristics, potentially influencing cancer therapy efficacy. Patients with non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NS-NSCLC) treated by bevacizumab plus platinum-based chemotherapy were randomized to obtain Clostridium butyricum supplement (CBS) or receive a placebo as adjuvant therapy. Clinical efficacy and safety were assessed using progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and adverse events (AE). Intestinal microbiota was longitudinally explored between CBS and placebo groups over time. Patients who took CBS had significantly decreased bacterial richness and abundance, as well as increased the total richness of the genus Clostridium, Bifidobacterium, and Lactobacillus compared to the placebo group (p < 0.05). Beta diversity and the interactional network of intestinal microbiota were distinctly different between CBS and placebo group. However, there were no significant variations between them in terms of microbial taxonomical taxa and alpha diversity. The potential opportunistic pathogen Shewanella was still detectable after treatment in the placebo group, while no distinguishing microbial markers were found in the CBS group. In terms of clinical efficacy, the CBS group had a significantly reduced AE compare to the placebo group (p < 0.05), although no significantly longer PFS and OS. Therefore, favorable modifications in intestinal microbiota and significant improvements in drug safety make probiotics be promising adjunctive therapeutic avenues for lung cancer treatment.

Keywords: Clostridium butyricum; adjuvant treatment; effects; intestinal microbiota; probiotic.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Clostridium butyricumAltered Gut Microbiota CompositionBeneficial
Clostridium butyricumReduced Incidence of Adverse EventsBeneficial

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