Oncologists Fear Rising Antibiotic Resistance Will Make Cancer Treatments Less Effective
Antibiotics are vital for treating common ailments such as strep throat and ear infections. But many people don’t realize that they are a cornerstone of modern medicine and are used much more widely.
Procedures such as cesarean sections, amputations, knee replacements, and chemotherapy all rely on antibiotics’ ability to fight off dangerous bacteria and avoid what could be life-threatening complications. These bacteria, however, are becoming increasingly resistant to available antibiotics, threatening the efficacy of these drugs.
In February, the Longitude Prize, launched by U.K.-based charity Nesta to help solve the challenge of antibiotic resistance, published the results of a survey of oncologists in the United Kingdom that shows significant concern. Ninety-five percent said they worry about the impact of superbugs on the future of cancer treatments. Nearly half of those surveyed—46 percent—said they think chemotherapy will soon be unviable.
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