Blog from BSH: Cancer treatment in a world without antibiotics

Becky, our senior medical writer, shares some of the discussion from the British Society of Haematology annual meeting.

Image of various antibiotics

A major topic of discussion at the British Society of Haematology's (BSH) annual meeting was the prospect of treating people in the absence of antibiotics.

As is so often reported in the news, antibiotic resistance is a rising concern. It was a sobering prospect to learn that many people would not survive chemotherapy or other cancer treatments that affect the immune system if antibiotics no longer worked.

Becky attended the BSH meeting. 

The review on antimicrobial resistance (2014) suggests that antibiotic resistance could become the leading cause of death worldwide by 2050 if the problem is not tackled soon.

The good news is that this issue was one of the most talked-about topics at the BSH meeting, and clinicians are taking it into account when making decisions about antibiotics.

A personalised approach is being championed, where antibiotics are not given to everyone as standard but each person is assessed individually. This is just one step that can help delay antibiotic resistance. Research continues into developing new treatments to combat the problem.

Read more in The review on antimicrobial resistance