Fox Chase researchers find new way to combat C. diff infections

Cancer patients who are given the oral antibiotic vancomycin following stem cell transplants have greatly reduced rates of Clostridioides difficile infections, researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia found. 

However, their research also highlighted that taking the oral antibiotic also increased the presence of gram-negative bacteremia, which usually is treatable, but can lead to sepsis. 

For the study, the Fox Chase experts looked at the infection rates for 441 patients who had received stem cell treatments between March 2021 and May 2023 and divided the groups into half who received the antibiotic and half who did not.

The C. diff infection rate of patients who received the antibiotic following their stem cell treatments was 4% less than that of the group who did not receive it. 

Though the results were positive, there is still not enough evidence to make the antibiotic part of a regular treatment guideline for oncology patients receiving stem cell treatments yet. Additional, larger studies will need to be conducted yielding similar results, according to the release.

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