Panel Explores the Microbiome and Cancer Therapies

Guest BloggerFrom The Gut

Last week at the Microbiome R&D/Probiotic Congress in San Diego, senior research data analyst Christine Spencer from University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center spoke with IPA about recent research.

Spencer and her colleagues published Gut microbiome modulates response to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy in melanoma patients in November of 2017 in Science. The study looked at oral and gut microbiome of 112 melanoma patients undergoing immunotherapy treatment.

Analysis of patient fecal microbiome samples showed higher diversity and relative abundance of Ruminococcaceae bacteria in responding patients. Metagenomic studies revealed functional differences in gut bacteria in responders including enrichment of anabolic pathways. These data suggest a role for the microbiome in treatment of melanoma patients receiving immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Spencer was part of a panel exploring human microbiome and cancer therapies.

While the group was diverse in style, enhancing treatment and reducing toxicity of cancer treatment was the common theme.

  • Pierre Belichard, CEO, Enterome
  • Take Ogawa, Director of Business Development, Second Genome
  • Marina Walther-Antonio, Assistant professor of Surgery, College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic
  • Eric De La Fortelle, Venture Partner at Seventure
  • Chaired by Christine Pierce, Assistant Member, Cancer Epidemiology, Moffitt Cancer Center

With that goal, the conversation veered from microbial interactions with cancer therapies, manipulating the microbiome for better outcomes as well as development of new therapies. The panel was only one of the many thoughtful presentations at Global Engage’s 2017 conference in San Diego.