Probiotics reduce psychological stress in patients before laryngeal cancer surgery

Asia Pac J Clin Oncol. 2016 Mar;12(1):e92-6. doi: 10.1111/ajco.12120. Epub 2014 Feb 20.


Aim: Laryngeal cancer is a common malignancy; surgery is the preferred treatment. Psychosocial stress is one of the negative impacts on patient recovery. This study aimed to elucidate the effect of probiotics on ameliorating anxiety, and on serum corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) in laryngeal cancer patients before surgery.

Methods: A total 30 patients with laryngeal cancer and 20 healthy volunteers were recruited. During the 2 weeks before surgery, 20 patients were randomly allocated to receive probiotics or placebo twice a day. Heart rate was recorded daily. The degree of anxiety was assessed by the Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA).

Results: Serum CRF levels in laryngeal cancer patients increased significantly in approaching surgery. After ingestion of probiotics, serum levels of CRF and heart rate did not increase before surgery. In addition, taking probiotics relieved the degree of anxiety of the patients from HAMA 19.8 to 10.2.

Conclusion: Probiotics can ameliorate the clinical anxiety and biochemical features of stress in patients scheduled for laryngectomy.

Keywords: anxiety; corticotropin-releasing factor; laryngeal cancer; probiotics; psychological stress.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Otorhinolaryngologic Surgical Procedures / psychology*
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control*


  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone