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Gut microbes as biomarkers of ICI response — sharpening the focus

Two recent large-cohort studies reinforce the potential predictive capability of gut microbiota for immune-checkpoint inhibitor response and toxicities in patients with melanoma. However, additional investigations are required to understand the mechanistic underpinnings of this complex multifaceted relationship, and how it can be exploited for personalized cancer care.

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Fig. 1: Cross-cohort analyses of the gut microbiota in patients with melanoma treated with immune-checkpoint inhibitors.


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The work of the authors is supported by the Melanoma Moon Shot and the MD Anderson Platform for Innovative Microbiome and Translational Research (PRIME-TR).

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Correspondence to Jennifer A. Wargo.

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Competing interests

J.A.W. is an inventor on a US patent application (PCT/US17/53.717); reports compensation for speaker’s bureau and honoraria from Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), Dava Oncology, Gilead, Illumina, Imedex, MedImmune, Omniprex and PeerView; serves as a consultant/advisory board member for AstraZeneca, Biothera Pharmaceuticals, BMS, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Micronoma, Novartis and Roche/Genentech; and holds stock options from Micronoma. N.B. declares no competing interests.

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Bhutiani, N., Wargo, J.A. Gut microbes as biomarkers of ICI response — sharpening the focus. Nat Rev Clin Oncol 19, 495–496 (2022).

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