Understanding how the body responds to immunotherapy for skin cancer.
Melanoma patients’ response to a major form of immunotherapy is associated with the diversity and makeup of trillions of potential allies and enemies found in the digestive tract, researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center report at the ASCO-Society for Immunotherapy in Cancer meeting in Orlando.
Analysis of 113 fecal samples of patients with metastatic melanoma found that those who responded to a PD1 checkpoint inhibitor had a greater diversity of gut bacteria and larger volumes of a specific type of bacteria than those who did not respond.
This connection between a person’s microbiome – trillions of bacteria harbored to varying degrees in the human body – and immune system could have major implications for cancer prognosis and treatment.
“Anti-PD1 immunotherapy is effective for many, but not all, melanoma patients and responses aren’t always durable,” said Jennifer Wargo, M.D., associate professor of Surgical Oncology.
“Our findings point to two potential impacts from additional research – analyzing the diversity and composition of the microbiome to predict response to immunotherapy and modulating the gut microbiome to enhance treatment,” said Wargo, senior researcher on the project and co-leader of the Melanoma Moon Shot™, part of MD Anderson’s Moon Shots Program™ to reduce cancer deaths by accelerating development of therapies from scientific discoveries.
Read full article: Gut Bacteria Associated with Cancer Immunotherapy Response in Melanoma
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