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Gut Microbiome and Cancer Immunotherapy Response

DISCOVERIES (ISSN 2359-7232), 2018, July-September issue

CITATION: 

Stancu AL. Gut Microbiome and the Response to Immunotherapy in Cancer. Discoveries 2018, 6(3): e84. DOI: 10.15190/d.2018.4

Submitted: August 02, 2018; Revised: August 28, 2018; Accepted: August 20, 2018; Published: September 30, 2018;

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Gut Microbiome and the Response to Immunotherapy in Cancer

Andreea Lucia Stancu *

Department of Dermatology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

*Corresponding author: Andreea Lucia Stancu, MD, Department of Dermatology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Harvard Institute of Medicine, 4 Blackfan Circle, Boston, MA, 02215, USA. E-mail: astancu@bwh.harvard.edu

Abstract

Recent studies indicate that the composition of gut bacteria can influence the effectiveness of certain cancer immunotherapy drugs and that modulating the gut microbiome may expand the pool of patients benefiting from cancer immunotherapies. Checkpoint blockade therapy has been effective on several types of malignancies (e.g. melanoma, lung cancer, kidney cancer). However, the number of patients that do not respond, or only partially respond, to cancer immunotherapy is high. Recently, several human and mouse studies have shown that gut microbiome may be a significant determinant of the response to cancer immunotherapy. This review focuses on the recent advances in our understanding of the interaction between human gut microbiome and response to immunotherapy in cancer. The gut microbiome may serve as a theranostic biomarker, by acting both as a useful prognostic biomarker and a target in cancer therapy.

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