Gut bacteria can spur immune system to attack cancer

Gut bacteria can spur immune system to attack cancer

PanARMENIAN.Net - A worldwide study has identified gut bacteria that can boost the immune system's ability to fight tumors. The finding should help improve and personalize immunotherapy treatments for cancer, Medical News Today reports.

Immunotherapy is a general term for treatments that increase the body's own ability to tackle disease.

One such treatment uses drugs called immune checkpoint inhibitors.

These block proteins that cancer cells produce and that protect them from attack by immune cells.

However, not all cases of cancer respond to treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors, and the drugs can also cause severe side effects.

The new Nature Communications study reveals information that should help identify which people are most likely to benefit from treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors.

The information concerns the molecular mechanisms through which gut bacteria interact with the immune system to influence its ability to fight cancer.

Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in La Jolla, CA, led the large international team that worked on the study, which also involved collaboration with three hospitals.

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