Benefits of Mediterranean diet in cancer treatment shown in PRIMM study

Benefits of Mediterranean diet in cancer treatment shown in PRIMM study

Benefits of Mediterranean diet in cancer treatment shown in PRIMM study

Recent findings from the multicenter cohort study (PRIMM study) have been published in JAMA Oncology, showing that a Mediterranean diet is associated with improved efficacy of immunotherapy for patients with metastatic melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer. The findings provide encouraging news for cancer patients worldwide.

This publication is part of a large multi-national effort to collect samples and analyse data in a standardised manner, and is already the third data layer published on this cohort. The resulting multi-omic signatures have the potential to reveal novel diagnostic and therapeutic opportunities across the diet-microbiome-immunity axis in cancer.

The latest study investigated the potential to improve the efficacy and tolerability of immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) treatment through nutrition and its association with the immune system and gut microbiome. Therefore, the study addresses two existing gaps in research (1) the large variability in the response to ICB and related adverse events, and (2) the role of improved diversity in the microbiome which is associated with a healthy diet.

Within the cohort study of patients with advanced melanoma in the UK and the Netherlands treated with ICB and followed for 12 months, researchers assessed the dietary intake of 91 patients through questionnaires before and after treatment. CT scans were used to measure the effect of immunotherapy, and progression-free survival established after one year.

Excitingly, this investigation showed that a Mediterranean-style diet was positively associated with patients’ response to ICB.

The Mediterranean diet – enriched in whole grains, fish, nuts, fruit, legumes and vegetables – is a widely recommended model of healthy eating and has shown positive effects in multiple previous studies investigating other indications.

Seerave has supported the outstanding research teams including the Netherlands’ University Medical Center Groningen’s Laura Bolte, Johannes Björk, Geke Hospers and Rinse Weersma, alongside their King’s College London colleagues Karla Lee, Veronique Bataille and Tim Spector, to achieve this next milestone publication in JAMA Oncology.

While we are just scratching the surface on the role of nutrition and the microbiome in cancer care, more and more evidence is surfacing, pointing to them as powerful parameters in patients’ treatment and health.

We are excited to continue working with world-leading organisations to ultimately help prevent and defeat cancer and other immune-related diseases by enabling personalized modulation of the nutrition-microbiome-immune system axis.

This published peer-reviewed report adds to a previous study (Lee et al. Nature Medicine, 2022) from the same patient cohort, establishing that the gut microbiome is implicated in the response to cancer immunotherapy as well.

The complete JAMA Oncology report (“Association of a Mediterranean Diet With Outcomes for Patients Treated With Immune Checkpoint Blockade for Advanced Melanoma”) can be accessed online: [here] Furthermore, you can also listen to the podcast on this publication: [here]

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