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Professor Thomas J Borody is a prominent Australian gastroenterologist, well known for developing 'Triple Therapy' for Helicobacter pylori and pioneering the novel therapy called fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT). Based in Sydney, he is recognized for his innovative clinical work and research into complex gastrointestinal disorders and infective disorders.
Thomas Borody was born in Krakow, Poland and migrated to Australia with his family in 1960. He completed both his BSc(Med) and later MB BS degrees at the University of New South Wales, graduating in 1974. He studied Tropical Medicine at Sydney University and later gained practical experience in the Solomon Islands in 1978 in general parasitology and the treatment of malaria, tuberculosis and leprosy before working at St Vincent's Hospital. He undertook postgraduate research at Sydney's Garvan Institute of Medical Research, culminating in his MD, then at the renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. After further research on return to Sydney, he was awarded his PhD and then Doctorate in Science.
In 1984, Professor Borody founded the Centre for Digestive Diseases (CDD) in Five Dock, NSW, a private day procedure hospital specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders of the digestive system, with a focus on infective diseases and novel and innovative treatment solutions.
Triple therapy for H. pylori infectionEdit
Although the Centre is a leader in the research of various gastrointestinal disorders, Borody is perhaps most recognised for his ground-breaking Triple Therapy cure for peptic ulcers in 1987. At that time, the consensus among the medical establishment for decades had been that no bacteria could survive in the acid milieu of the stomach. But in 1979, two Australians, Robin Warren and Barry Marshall, described then cultured spiral bacteria from the stomach of patients with gastritis, or duodenal or gastric ulcers, and proposed that the bacterium H. pylori was the cause of stomach ulcers. Marshall then deliberately ingested the bacterium, cultured from an infected patient, as part of a successful and widely reported experiment to prove Koch's postulates for gastritis. He subsequently developed gastritis and related symptoms, unequivocally proving H. pylori as the causative agent. In 2005, they were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of the bacterium H. pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.
However, there was still no effective cure for ulcers, which were responsible for substantial morbidity and mortality in the community. Given that infection caused stomach ulcers, Borody reasoned that a treatment could be developed to cure the infection. After trialling approximately 36 different combinations, he and his colleagues developed a triple "cocktail" of drugs - bismuth, tetracycline, and metronidazole - to treat and eliminate stomach ulcers in 1984. In a recent publication, the impact that triple therapy had on peptic ulcer disease in Australia was reported to have prevented over 18,000 premature deaths and the invention was estimated to have saved the Australian healthcare system in excess of $10 billion dollars in medical care and surgical costs.
Fecal microbiota transplantationEdit
Prof Borody is a world-renowned leader in the therapeutic manipulation of the microbiota, having performed his first FMT in 1988. Since then, Borody has overseen over 30,000 FMT procedures, and has garnered a wealth of proprietary clinical data and insights. However, it was only during the epidemic of Clostridioides difficile infection that occurred in North America and Europe in the early 2000s that FMT rose to prominence as a therapy, quickly gaining recognition as a highly effective means of eradicating CDI curing the infection. In this particularly difficult-to-treat patient population, FMT was associated with a cumulative success rate of ~90% in randomized clinical trials. Following the global success of FMT in CDI, its use has expanded to include other indications in which the gastrointestinal microbiome has been implicated, including Inflammatory Bowel Disease, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, autism, and Parkinson’s disease, with promising preliminary results observed. In May of 1988, Prof Borody treated the first patient with ulcerative colitis using FMT, which resulted in durable clinical and histological cure over 23 years later.
Inflammatory disease and infectionEdit
In addition to FMT, Dr. Borody has developed a number of novel therapies in the field of gastroenterology, with more than 180 patent applications in areas such as treatment of H. pylori, Crohn’s disease, bowel lavage, parasite infestation, IBS and FMT, asthma and Coronavirus therapy.
He has authored over 300 publications and regularly presents novel and innovative findings at leading Gastroenterology conferences. His knowledge and expertise is sought after by clinicians from around the world, and he is a reviewer for a number of leading medical journals, including:
- Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology
- World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pharmacology and Therapeutics (Editorial Board)
- American Journal of Gastroenterology
- Digestive Diseases and Sciences Endoscopy
- Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
- Medical Journal of Australia
- Digestive and Liver Diseases
He is also a founder and scientific advisor to a number of biopharma companies.
- Eslick, Guy D.; Tilden, Dominic (2020). "Clinical and economic impact of "triple therapy" for Helicobacter pylori eradication on peptic ulcer disease in Australia". Helicobacter. 25 (6): e12751.
- van Nood, Els; Vrieze, Anne (2013). "Duodenal Infusion of Donor Feces for Recurrent Clostridium difficile". New Engl J Med. 368: 407-415.
- Borody, Thomas; Campbell, Jordana (2011). "Fecal microbiota transplantation: current status and future directions". Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 6: 653-655.
- Scientific papers authored by Thomas Borody, listed by the United States National Library of Medicine
- Scientific papers authored by Thomas Borody, listed by ResearchGate
- Interview with Stephen Dubner
- ABC Catalyst - Human Probiotic Transfusion 14 July 2011
- Doctor Tom Borody claims faecal transplants curing incurable diseases like Crohn's 19 March 2014