Tag : Cancer

    Research: Gut Microbiome Can Alter Cancer Therapy Response

    Sunil Aswal
    April29/ 2022

    Washington: Sequencing technology has recently shown that the gut microbiome can also play a role in the treatment of cancer along with the other benefits that it has. A review paper published in JAMA Oncology by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital captures the current understanding of the connection between the gut microbiome and therapeutic response to immunotherapy, chemotherapy, cancer surgery and more, pointing to ways that the microbiome could be targeted to improve treatment. "We know that a healthy gut is a key to our overall health," said lead author Khalid Shah, MS, PhD, of the Center for Stem Cell and Translational Immunotherapy in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Brigham. "Our gut is so important that we often refer to it as our 'second' brain. In recent years, we've begun to appreciate the many roles of the gut, including the gut-brain connection and the connection between the gut and our immune system. Conversely, gut dysfunction or dysbiosis can have a negative effect on our health." Shah and colleagues report on an emerging role for gut microbiota in immunotherapy. Immune checkpoint inhibitors and immune checkpoint blockade therapy are novel strategies for treating cancer, but the response to these forms of treatment varies considerably between individuals and across cancer types. Several studies have found differences in the species of bacteria found in faecal samples from responders and non-responders, suggesting that different microbiome compositions may influence clinical responses. Other studies suggest that diet and probiotics -- live bacterial species that can be ingested -- as well as antibiotic medications and bacteriophages, can influence the composition of the gut microbiome and, in turn, ...

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