Category: Cancer

Cancer Immunity Microbiome

The gut microbiome: what the oncologist ought to know

The gut microbiome (GM) has been implicated in a vast number of human pathologies and has become a focus of oncology research over the past 5 years. The normal gut microbiota imparts specific function in host nutrient metabolism, xenobiotic and drug metabolism, maintenance of structural integrity of the gut mucosal barrier, immunomodulation and protection against pathogens. Strong evidence is emerging to support the effects of the GM on the development of some malignancies but also on responses to cancer therapies, most notably, immune checkpoint inhibition. Tools for manipulating the GM including dietary modification, probiotics and faecal microbiota transfer (FMT) are in development. Current understandings of the many complex interrelationships between the GM, cancer, the immune system, nutrition and medication…

Cancer Metabolites Microbiome Nutrition

Ketogenic diet and ketone bodies enhance the anticancer effects of ...

Limited experimental evidence bridges nutrition and cancer immunosurveillance. Here, the team at IGR Paris shows that ketogenic diet (KD) or its principal ketone body, 3-hydroxybutyrate (3HB), most specifically in an intermittent scheduling, induced T cell-dependent tumour growth retardation of aggressive tumour models.

In conditions in which anti-PD-1, alone or in combination with anti-CTLA-4, failed to reduce tumour growth in mice receiving a standard diet, KD or oral supplementation of 3HB reestablished therapeutic responses. Supplementation of KD with sucrose (which breaks ketogenesis, abolishing 3HB production) or with a pharmacological antagonist of the 3HB receptor GPR109A abolished the anti-tumour effects. Mechanistically, 3HB prevented the ICB-linked up-regulation of PD-L1 on myeloid cells while favouring the expansion of CXCR3+ T cells. KD induced compositional changes of…

Cancer Smart Toilet

Stanford’s smart toilet analyzes urine and feces for signs of disease

The toilets of the future will scan and analyze human waste in detail for faster detection of various diseases.

Human urine and feces contain a lot of information about human health and wellbeing, and therefore scientists and engineers are developing new technologies that could help us unlock it. Among them is a group of scientists from Stanford University, which is developing new disease-detecting technology in the lab.

They recently introduced a new type of “smart toilet” fitted with the technology that automatically scans urine and faeces for possible signs of disease. The intelligent toilet system can detect different types of cancer, such as colorectal or urologic cancers, as well as some digestive and kidney disorders.

When I’d bring it up, people would sort of laugh because…

Cancer Metabolites Microbiome Nutrition

Gut microbiome linked to efficacy of PD-1-inhibitor therapy for solid ...

In patients with solid cancers, the concentration of fecal short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) may be a biomarker of the efficacy of the programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) checkpoint inhibitors nivolumab and pembrolizumab, according to researchers in Japan.

Immune-checkpoint inhibitors have been remarkably effective across multiple cancer types, note Dr. Motoo Nomura of Kyoto University and colleagues in JAMA Network Open. However, for solid cancers the response rate to PD-1 inhibitors has been relatively low, they add.

Thus, a biomarker of efficacy “is critically needed for clinical decision-making,” they say, and the gut microbiome profile could be one such factor.

To investigate, the researchers prospectively studied 52 cancer patients with a median age of 67 years who were scheduled to be treated with nivolumab or pembrolizumab. Concentrations…

Cancer Microbiome

Microbial DNA in patient blood may be tell-tale sign of cancer

When Gregory Poore was a freshman in college, his otherwise healthy grandmother was shocked to learn that she had late-stage pancreatic cancer. The condition was diagnosed in late December. She died in January.

“She had virtually no warning signs or symptoms,” Poore said. “No one could say why her cancer wasn’t detected earlier or why it was resistant to the treatment they tried.” As Poore came to learn through his college studies, cancer has traditionally been considered a disease of the human genome — mutations in our genes allow cells to avoid death, proliferate and form tumors.

But when Poore saw a 2017 study in Science that showed how microbes invaded a majority of pancreatic cancers and were able to break down the main…

Cancer Immunity Nutrition Seerave Community

Caloric restriction mimetics enhance anti-tumor efficacy

We’re happy to announce that the Seerave Fellow Dr. Jonathan Pol published part of his work entitled “A synergistic triad of chemotherapy, immune checkpoint inhibitors, and caloric restriction mimetics eradicates tumors in mice” in the journal OncoImmunology.

The lab of Professor Guido Kroemeber has recently shown that chemotherapy with agents inducing immunogenic cell death (ICD), such as anthracyclines (e.g. mitoxantrone) or the platinum salt oxaliplatin, can be advantageously combined with fasting or caloric restriction mimetics (CRMs) to reach a better control of tumor growth (1-3). The antitumor activity of the treatment depended on immune actors, particularly on CD8+ T cells. Among these CRMs, Jonathan Pol was particularly interested in further studying hydroxycitrate (HC) and spermidine (SPD). In this follow up study, Jonathan Pol and…

Cancer Immunity Microbiome

Human microbiome-derived bacterial strains with antitumor activity

Vedanta Biosciences, a clinical-stage company developing a new category of therapies for immune-mediated diseases based on rationally defined consortia of human microbiome-derived bacteria, today announced a publication in Nature reporting a newly discovered mechanism underlying antitumor immunity that involves human microbiota-driven induction of interferon-gamma-producing (IFNy+) CD8+ T cell accumulation in the gut and tumors.

Led by Vedanta’s scientific co-founder Kenya Honda, M.D., Ph.D., of Keio University School of Medicine, the research also led to the identification and selection of a defined consortium of human microbiome-derived bacterial strains that harnesses this mechanism of antitumor activity and cooperatively potentiates responses to checkpoint inhibitor therapies and immune challenges in general. Based on this research, Vedanta is advancing VE800, a proprietary clinical candidate designed to enhance immune responses…

Cancer Immunity Metabolites Microbiome Nutrition

Gut microbiome regulates the intestinal immune system

A new study in mice unveils the role of vitamin A in immune system regulation, a finding that could assist in developing treatments for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases as well as vitamin A deficiency.

PROVIDENCE, R.I.  — Scientists have long known that bacteria in the intestines, also known as the microbiome, perform a variety of useful functions for their hosts, such as breaking down dietary fiber in the digestive process and making vitamins K and B7.

Yet a new study unveils another useful role the microbiome plays. A team of researchers from Brown University found that in mice, the gut microbiome regulates the host’s immune system — so that rather than the host’s defense system attacking these…

Cancer Immunity Microbiome

Gut bacteria influence the progression of multiple myeloma

By interacting with the immune system, some types of gut bacteria can influence the progression of multiple myeloma, a tumor that affects the bone marrow causing pain, anemia and bone fragility.

The discovery, limited so far to the animal model of the disease, is published today in Nature Communications by the team of Matteo Bellone, head of Cellular immunology Unit at IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele. The study, supported by AIRC – The Italian Association for Cancer Research – is among the first to trace a direct link between intestinal microbiota and a tumor located in a different organ, thus demonstrating the capability of these bacteria to interact with the whole organism. Moreover, researchers identified a biological marker that could…