Year 2020
October 2020
12 October 2020

War Against Cancer – Are We Winning or Losing?



War against cancer is a never-ending battle. Continuous research is marching forward in  finding ways to prevent and treat cancer. Current cancer treatment such as surgery and chemotherapy impaired gut function, specifically colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. They suffer various side effects during and after the treatments that negatively impact their quality of life. Current studies showed that consumption of HEXBIO® microbial cell preparation (MCP) is effective to improve gut health and quality of life in CRC patients.


CANCER. We tend to feel scared just by hearing the ‘cancer’ word. What if a doctor told that you are diagnosed with colorectal cancer (CRC)? You might be crying, feeling numb, super anxious and hopeless like it is the end of the world.

Till today, we still don’t have a definite answer for what causing cancer1. For CRC, the function of normal cells in the gut lining is disrupted. The cells lose self-control, keep on dividing non-stop and become immortal. It starts as a small clump of cells (polyps) and developed as CRC over time. Three common cancer treatments are surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. They are effective to eliminate the culprit-cancerous cells yet at the same time caused imbalanced gut microbiota that impaired nutrient absorption, digestive and immune system. Because of that, CRC patients are prone to suffer various side effects that lead to a low quality of life2,3.

Recent studies have shown that consumption of HEXBIO® microbial cell preparation (MCP) that contain good bacteria may be helpful for CRC patients to improve their quality of life. HEXBIO® MCP consists of 30 billion cells/g from the strain of Lactobacillus acidophilus BCMC® 12130, Lactobacillus lactis BCMC® 12451, Lactobacillus casei subsp BCMC® 12313, Bifidobacterium longum BCMC® 02120, Bifidobacterium bifidum BCMC® 02290 and Bifidobacterium infantis BCMC® 02129. These six specific strains are known as MCP® BCMC® strains.

The main treatment for CRC is resection of the tumour and the surgery disrupt normal gut function, affecting nutrient absorption and recovery process might be delayed. A recent study shows that CRC patients who consumed HEXBIO® MCP seven days prior to surgery demonstrated faster return of gut function and shorter period of hospital stay compared to the patients administered with placebo4. Some patients were given post-surgery antibiotic therapy experience antibiotic-associated diarrhoea (AAD). In another study among 12,000 patients of ongoing antibiotic therapy, supplementation of probiotics has shown 42% lower risk of developing AAD in comparison to those taking placebo5.

In addition, the latest CRC research investigated the role of HEXBIO® MCP in the modulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines on CRC patients after surgery. Normally, post-surgery CRC patients have high inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α, IL-17A, IL-17C, IL-22, IL-10 and IL-12. These cytokines are linked to the potential cause of CRC. In a randomized controlled trial showed that HEXBIO® MCP has immunobiotics effect by positively influence the immune status of CRC patient by lowering the level of pro-inflammatory cytokines. It is fascinating to note that the pro-inflammatory cytokines were significantly reduced by at least 60% after consumption of HEXBIO® MCP compared to the placebo group6. This finding demonstrated the potential of HEXBIO® as a promising supplementary for CRC treatment and prevention.

Besides surgery, chemotherapy is needed especially for CRC high-risk stage 2 and stage 37. Chemotherapy is known to cause side effects which negatively impact their quality of life. The chemotherapy drug such as 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) is efficient in killing cancer cells. But, it also increases pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6 and C-reactive protein) that damage gut barrier (intestinal mucositis) resulting in various side effects such as nausea, vomiting, dyspepsia (indigestion), dysphagia (swallowing difficulties) and diarrhoea8. A study reported that a combination of HEXBIO® MCP and omega-3 fatty acid work synergistically with a chemotherapy drug (XELOX) to significantly reduce the inflammatory cytokines and improve side effects such as nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting in CRC patients undergoing chemotherapy. This finding suggests that the combination of HEXBIO® MCP and omega-3 fatty acids may be adapted as an adjuvant for cancer patients on chemotherapy9.

With current presented evidence, HEXBIO® MCP is an excellent complementary aid together with the conventional treatment. HEXBIO® MCP is effective to promote recovery, restore normal gut function, decrease inflammatory cytokines, reduce chemotherapy side effects and enhance the quality of life in CRC patient. Here, HEXBIO® MCP is not curing cancer. But, in the long run, prevent and put a stop on the development of cancer.


  • Luzzatto, L., & Pandolfi, P. P. (2015). Causality and chance in the development of cancer. The New England Journal of Medicine, 373(1), 84-88.
  • Astin, M., Griffin, T., Neal, R. D., Rose, P., & Hamilton, W. (2011). The diagnostic value of symptoms for colorectal cancer in primary care: a systematic review. British Journal of General Practice, 61(586), 231-243.
  • Lee, J. Y., Chu, S. H., Jeon, J. Y., Lee, M. K., Park, J. H., Lee, D. C., Lee, J. W., & Kim, N. K. (2014). Effects of 12 weeks of probiotic supplementation on quality of life in colorectal cancer survivors: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Digestive and Liver Disease, 46(12), 1126-1132.
  • Tan, C. K., Said, S., Rajandram, R., Wang, Z., Roslani, A. C., & Chin, K. F. (2016). Pre-surgical administration of microbial cell preparation in colorectal cancer patients: a randomized controlled trial. World Journal of Surgery, 40(8), 1985-1992.
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  • Zaharuddin, L., Mokhtar, N. M., Nawawi, K. N. M., & Ali, R. A. R. (2019). A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial of probiotics in post-surgical colorectal cancer. BMC gastroenterology, 19(1), 131.
  • Van Cutsem, E., Köhne, C. H., Hitre, E., Zaluski, J., Chang Chien, C. R., Makhson, A., D’Haens, G., Pintér, T., Lim, R., Bodoky, G. & Roh, J. K. (2009). Cetuximab and chemotherapy as initial treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer. New England Journal of Medicine, 360(14), 1408-1417.
  • Keefe, D. M. (2004). Gastrointestinal mucositis: a new biological model. Supportive Care in Cancer12(1), 6-9.
  • Golkhalkhali, B., Rajandram, R., Paliany, A. S., Ho, G. F., Ishak, W., Zamaniah, W., Johari, C. S., & Chin, K. F. (2017). Strain‐specific probiotic (microbial cell preparation) and omega‐3 fatty acid in modulating quality of life and inflammatory markers in colorectal cancer patients: a randomized controlled trial. Asia‐Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology. 1-13.
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