Lactobacillus kefiri LKF01 (Kefibios®) for prevention of diarrhoea in cancer patients treated with chemotherapy: A prospective study

Michele Ghidini, Mariaceleste Nicoletti, Margherita Ratti, Gianluca Tomasello, Veronica Lonati, Mara Ghilardi, Maria Chiara Parati, Karen Borgonovo, Mary Cabiddu, Fausto Petrelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Diarrhoea is one of the main side effects that cancer patients face. The literature showsthat the incidence of chemotherapy (CT)-induced diarrhoea (grade 3–4) in treated patients is in the range of 10–20%, particularly after 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) bolus or some combination therapies of irinotecan and fluoropyrimidines. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of Lactobacillus kefiri LKF01 (Kefibios®) in the prevention or treatment of CT-related diarrhoea in the cancer population. We conducted a prospective observational study. Patients enrolled were adults treated for at least four months with 5-FU-based CT. Kefibios® was administered to patients every day. The primary outcome was the evaluation of the incidence of grade 3–4 CT-induced diarrhoea. We included 76 patients in the final analysis. A 6.6% incidence of high-grade diarrhoea was found in the evaluated population (4.7% of patients treated with 5-FU-based therapy and 8.5% of patients treated with capecitabine-based CT). The overall incidence of high-grade diarrhoea observed was higher in the 1st and 2nd cycles (3.9%), with a subsequent sharp reduction from the 3rd cycle (1.3%) and negativisation from the 5th cycle. Lactobacillus kefiri LKF01 (Kefibios®) is safe and effective in preventing severe diarrhoea in cancer patients receiving 5-FU or capecitabine-based treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number385
Number of pages11
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Diarrhoea
  • Lactobacillus kefiri LKF01

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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