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Author Topic: Gut Bacteria May Improve Effectiveness of Immunotherapy  (Read 1900 times)

Offline Cancer Health Editors

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Gut Bacteria May Improve Effectiveness of Immunotherapy
« on: November 15, 2017, 08:04:23 am »
The composition of bacteria in the digestive tract may affect how well immunotherapy for cancer treatment works, according to two studies recently published in Science magazine.

One study found that people with more diverse gut bacteria responded better to PD-1 checkpoint blockers for treatment of advanced melanoma. The other showed that certain types of bacteria influenced the effectiveness of these drugs for epithelial tumors.

In recent years, a growing body of research has shown that intestinal bacteria, known as the gut microbiome, play a role in many health conditions ranging from cardiovascular disease to HIV infection. They may also affect the likelihood of developing cancer and how well treatment will work.

Rather than attacking cancer directly, like traditional chemotherapy, immunotherapy helps the immune system recognize and fight cancer cells. PD-1 checkpoint inhibitors are monoclonal antibodies that block the PD-1 receptor on T cells, the main soldiers of the immune system. Some tumors can use PD-1 to turn off immune responses against them. Drugs that block PD-1 can release the brakes and restore T-cell activity against cancer cells.



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