The importance of which specific bugs you have in your body, your “microbiome” , is becoming increasingly recognized. Now a study has show that patients’ repose to an immune therapy used in advanced melanoma, varied based on their specific microbiome. Investigators used stool samples to get an accurate picture of each patients microbiome before treatment with anti-PD-1 therapy for advanced melanoma. They found a strong correlation between specific bugs in patients’ microbiome and their response to therapy. Further more, microbial reconstitution of germ-free mice with fecal material from responding patients improved tumor control and augmented T-cell responses in mice. It is logical to hope that adjusting human microbimes prior to therapy will improve their subsequent response to this and potential other treatments.


The Commensal Microbiome Is Associated With Anti-PD-1 Efficacy in Metastatic Melanoma Patients
Science 2018 Jan 05;359(6371)104-108, V Matson, J Fessler, R Bao, T Chongsuwat, Y Zha, ML Alegre, JJ Luke, TF Gajewski