Cedars-Sinai Cancer Gut Microbiome Finding: Optimal Mix of Bacteria & Fungi May Improve Radiation Therapy for Cancer Patients

In a fascinating breakthrough, Los Angeles-based cancer researchers recently discovered that intestinal microorganisms actually regulate anti-tumor immune responses to radiation treatments—additionally, fungi and bacteria appear to oppose those particular responses. Cedars-Sinai Cancer preclinical research conducted on mice reveals a path toward improving the effectiveness of radiation and immune-based treatments for patients with melanoma, breast, and other cancers. The principal investigator now seeks to characterize the diversity of gut microorganisms in cancer patients undergoing treatment on a mission to better understand the mechanisms by which gut microbiota, such as bacteria and fungi, influence cancer therapies. A patent has been secured for an antifungal agent as well.

With their results published recently in the peer-reviewed journal Cancer Cell, this particular research was undertaken in a vacuum but rather follows previous studies involving the role of intestinal bacteria in influencing immune responses to chemotherapy and immunotherapy. In this investigation, Cedars-Sinai researchers led by Dr. Stephen L. Shiao investigated the role of both gut-related bacteria an...

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