Ohigashi, S., Hoshino, Y., Ohde, S., & Onodera, H. (2011). Functional outcome, quality of life, and efficacy of probiotics in postoperative patients with colorectal cancer. Surgery Today, 41, 1200–1206.doi: 10.1007/s00595-010-4450-6
To compare functional outcome and quality of life (QOL) in patients who received surgical resection for rectal versus colon cancer, and to review the efficacy of the use of probiotics in bowel function afterwards.
A questionnaire was sent to 193 patients with non–stage IV colon cancer. Some patients with stage III disease received adjuvant chemotherapy over the six-month postoperative period, but no patients were undergoing chemotherapy when the questionnaire was administered. Seventy-seven respondents agreed to take probiotics. Patients received a probiotic that contained Bacillus natto and Lactobacillus acidophilus as the principal ingredients.
Patients took three tablets after meals TID for a total of nine tablets. The questionnaire was readministered three months after probiotic initiation.
This was a questionnaire-based study with a cross-sectional design.
Some improvements were observed in all groups after the administration of probiotics. Changes in defecation and related symptoms differed according to disease location over time. The role of probiotic use cannot be determined from this study report.
The study did not provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate the efficacy of probiotic use for managing bowel symptoms in patients after colorectal surgery. However, the study showed differences in bowel symptoms based on initial tumor location and surgical area.