Recurrent exposure to antibiotics may increase the risk for cancer in specific organ sites, according to a recent report published in the European Journal of Cancer.
A large population-based electronic medical record database was used to conduct nested case-control studies for 15 common malignancies. Persons with inherited cancer syndromes were excluded. Four eligible matched controls were selected for every case. In total, 125,441 cases and 490,510 matched controls were analyzed.
The findings demonstrated use of penicillin was associated with higher risk of some GI cancers, and this association was higher for those who underwent more antibiotic courses.
Penicillin, cephalosporins, or macrolides use was associated with higher risk for lung cancer; penicillin, quinolones, sulphonamides, and tetracyclines were associated with moderately increased risk for prostate cancer; and sulphonamides were modestly associated with risk for breast cancer. However, no association was found with the use of antivirals and antifungals.
Bacterial dysbiosis was previously described in human malignancies. In a recent animal model, tumour susceptibility was transmitted using faecal transplantation. Our aim was to evaluate possible association between antibiotic exposure and cancer risk.