21 Sept 2021

Gut microbe signatures may indicate adverse reaction to cancer treatments

A collaborative study involving Monash University has revealed specific gut microbiota signatures that may signal adverse body responses to cancer immunotherapy treatments.

Researchers studied a group of patients who were being treated for advanced melanoma with immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) - the main immunotherapy drugs currently used to treat cancer - to identify biomarkers of response and toxicity.

The study’s first author, Dr Miles Andrews from the Monash Central Clinical School, said that higher levels of the bacterium Bacteroides intestinalis in the gut were associated with a greater likelihood of developing moderate to severe treatment-related side effects.

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