University of Chicago Medicine researchers report that specific microbiome assemblages can boost the response rate to immunotherapy for patients being treated for advanced melanoma. Their study (”The Commensal Microbiome Is Associated with Anti–PD-1 Efficacy in Metastatic Melanoma Patients”) is published in Science.
“Anti–PD-1–based immunotherapy has had a major impact on cancer treatment but has only benefited a subset of patients. Among the variables that could contribute to interpatient heterogeneity is differential composition of the patients’ microbiome, which has been shown to affect antitumor immunity and immunotherapy efficacy in preclinical mouse models. We analyzed baseline stool samples from metastatic melanoma patients before immunotherapy treatment, through an integration of 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing, metagenomic shotgun sequencing, and quantitative polymerase chain reaction for selected bacteria. A significant association was observed between commensal microbial composition and clinical response,” write the investigators.
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