Cancer-fighting mechanisms discovered in the human body

(ORDO NEWS) — The largest study to date has confirmed the link between the gut microbiome and response to cancer immunotherapy in the treatment of melanoma.

Dr Carla Lee, a clinical researcher at King’s College London and first author of the study, said that preliminary studies in a limited number of patients suggested that the gut microbiome, as a regulator of the immune system, plays a role in each patient’s response to cancer immunotherapy, and especially in case of melanoma.

The study pooled the largest cohort of melanoma patients and samples of their gut microbiome from five clinical centers in the UK, the Netherlands and Spain.

The scientists conducted a large-scale metagenomic study – sequencing the gut microbiome – to see if there is an association between the composition and function of the gut microbiome and response to immunotherapy.

The results confirmed a complex association as it includes different types of bacteria in different patient cohorts.

The presence of three bacterial species (Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum, Roseburia spp. and Akkermansia muciniphila) appears to be associated with a better immune response.

Study co-author Prof Tim Spector of King’s College London said: “ The ultimate goal is to determine which microbiome features directly influence the clinical benefits of immunotherapy in order to use these features in new personalized approaches to support cancer immunotherapy.”

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