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Gut microbiome can alter cancer therapy response: Study

The researchers also provided an overview of how microbiota have been implicated in influencing response to chemotherapy and other conventional cancer treatments. They also present how cancer therapies may reciprocally affect the microbiome and cause side effects.

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A recent study has revealed that the microbiome present in the gut of humans can also play a role in the treatment of cancer. A study conducted by the investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital has highlighted the current understanding of the connection between the gut microbiome and therapeutic response to immunotherapy, chemotherapy, cancer surgery, and more. The findings which were published in JAMA Oncology have shown promising ways that the microbiome could be targeted to improve treatment.

“We know that a healthy gut is a key to our overall health. Our gut is so important that we often refer to it as our ‘second’ brain,” lead author Khalid Shah, MS, Ph.D., of the Center for Stem Cell and Translational Immunotherapy in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Brigham, said as quoted by a news agency ANI.

Shah also highlighted that over the years people have begun to appreciate the multiple roles of the gut, including the gut-brain connection and the connection between the gut and the immune system. He also informed that gut dysfunction or dysbiosis can have a negative effect on human health.

Shah along with his colleagues reported on an emerging role for gut microbiota in immunotherapy in their study. Meanwhile, other studies suggest that diet and probiotics as well as antibiotic medications and bacteriophages can influence the composition of the gut microbiome and can release a response to immunotherapy. Moreover, the authors highlight recent studies on the effects of ketogenic diets on patients with cancer.

The researchers also provided an overview of how microbiota have been implicated in influencing response to chemotherapy and other conventional cancer treatments. They also present how cancer therapies may reciprocally affect the microbiome and cause side effects.

However, the scientists also warned before using probiotics or making dietary changes. According to them, many cancer clinical trials are at the moment working on the influence of the microbiome to help address some of the limitations and gaps in understanding. To understand this, some of these trials include faecal microbial transplantation, dietary supplements, and novel drugs that may have an impact on microbiota composition.

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