Sunday, November 19, 2017

Back to the cooties in our guts....again!!!

We all want a magical cure for our melanoma!!  Short of that, we certainly want to do whatever we can to make sure the treatments we do utilize work to their very best effect!  In that vein, various studies have looked at the bacteria in our intestines, our 'microbiome' (or...the cooties in our gut!!), and how they may interact with immunotherapy.  Here is a prior post with links to several studies:

ASCO 2017: Melanoma, anti-PD1 and the microbes in your gut

Now there's this: 

Gut microbiome modulates response to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy in melanoma patients. Gopalakrishnan, Spencer, Nezi, et al.  Science. 2017 Nov 2. 

Pre-clinical mouse models suggest that the gut microbiome modulates tumor response to checkpoint blockade immunotherapy; however, this has not been well-characterized in human cancer patients. Here we examined the oral and gut microbiome of melanoma patients undergoing anti-PD-1 immunotherapy (n=112). Significant differences were observed in the diversity and composition of the patient gut microbiome of responders (R) versus non-responders (NR). Analysis of patient fecal microbiome samples (n=43, 30R, 13NR) showed significantly higher alpha diversity and relative abundance of Ruminococcaceae bacteria in responding patients. Metagenomic studies revealed functional differences in gut bacteria in R including enrichment of anabolic pathways. Immune profiling suggested enhanced systemic and anti-tumor immunity in responding patients with a favorable gut microbiome, as well as in germ-free mice receiving fecal transplants from responding patients. Together, these data have important implications for the treatment of melanoma patients with immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Best I can tell you is what I've said before ~ it is likely that our best bet is to avoid antibiotics unless really needed, eat kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt and kefir!  Or.....fecal transplant, anyone???! 

Yum!!! - c


  1. Sauerkraut and yogurt FTW! (I recently learned about fecal transplants... so much wow.)