2012 年 8 巻 2 号 p. 174-178
Leukemias and sarcomas account for many of the pediatric cases of malignancy; indeed leukemia accounts for approximately 40% of cases. The basic treatment for pediatric malignancy is chemotherapy; however, the use of anticancer drugs may also damage normal cells in the body. This creates a problem of increased susceptibility to infection because of a weakened immune system. The use of antibiotics is therefore essential to prevent and treat infections. However, antibiotics can kill both pathogenic bacteria and useful bacteria. By disturbing the balance of intestinal bacteria, antibiotics may disrupt intestinal barrier function, thus, perversely increasing the risk of infection.
In the present paper, we focus on the use of probiotics to improve the balance of intestinal bacteria. In particular, we examine the effectiveness of probiotics in children undergoing chemotherapy.