More effective cancer immunotherapy thanks to the gut microbiome
For more than four years, Seerave Foundation has been supporting the outstanding research teams at King’s College London (UK), UMCG (NL) and University of Trento (I) to find out whether there is a link between the presence and function of the gut microbiome and the outcome of cancer immunotherapy. We are thrilled to see this milestone work being published in Nature Medicine!
Congrats to all the authors and especially Karla Lee, Andrew Thomas, Laura Bolte, Johannes Björk, Laurence Zitvogel, Veronique Bataille, Geke Hospers, Tim Spector, Rinse Weersma and Nicola Segata from the Seerave network!
In summary, the team found that the gut microbiome has a relevant, but cohort-dependent, association with the response to ICIs. A panel of species, including Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum, Roseburia spp. and Akkermansia muciniphila, associated with responders was identified, but no single species could be regarded as a fully consistent biomarker across studies. Overall, the role of the human gut microbiome in ICI response appears more complex than previously thought, extending beyond differing microbial species simply present or absent in responders and non-responders.
We hope that this open access publication will drive more research into finding the mechanistic answers needed to drive personalised microbiome-targeted interventions forward. Dedicated papers regarding the association of different diet patterns with response in the same cohorts will be published separately in the coming months (as well as papers including proteomic, glycomic and metabolomic analysis).