Sunday, 16 August 2020

Microbiome's role in attacking cancerous tumors




Researchers with the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases at the Cumming School of Medicine (CSM) have discovered which gut bacteria help our immune system battle cancerous tumours and how they do it. The discovery may provide a new understanding of why immunotherapy, a treatment for cancer that helps amplify the body's immune response, works in some cases, but not others. The findings, published in Science, show combining immunotherapy with specific microbial therapy boosts the ability of the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells in some melanoma, bladder and colorectal cancers.

The researchers identified bacterial species that were associated with colorectal cancer tumours when treated with immunotherapy. Working with germ-free mice, they then introduced these specific bacteria along with immune checkpoint blockade, a type of cancer immunotherapy. Research revealed that specific bacteria were essential to the immunotherapy working. The tumours shrank, drastically. For those subjects that did not receive the beneficial bacteria, the immunotherapy had no effect.

See:

Lukas F. Mager, Regula Burkhard, Nicola Pett, Noah C. A. Cooke, Kirsty Brown, Hena Ramay, Seungil Paik, John Stagg, Ryan A. Groves, Marco Gallo, Ian A. Lewis, Markus B. Geuking, Kathy D. McCoy. Microbiome-derived inosine modulates response to checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy. Science, 2020; eabc3421 DOI: 10.1126/science.abc3421

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources (http://www.pharmamicroresources.com/)

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