A phase I clinical trial has assessed the use of faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) and re-induction of anti-PD1 immunotherapy in patients with immunotherapy-refractory melanoma. In this safety and feasibility trial, ten patients with metastatic melanoma who had progressed on anti-PD1 immunotherapy were administered with orally ingested antibiotics for 72 hours, and FMT was then performed via both colonoscopy and administration of oral stool capsules, followed by re-induction of anti-PD-1 immunotherapy. Two patients achieved partial responses, and one patient achieved a complete response. Favourable changes in immune cell infiltrates and gene expression profiles were observed in the gut lamina propria and the tumour microenvironment after FMT. The FMT donors were two individuals previously treated with anti-PD1 therapy for metastatic melanoma and had achieved a complete response.
Baruch, E. N. et al. Fecal microbiota transplant promotes response in immunotherapy-refractory melanoma patients. Science https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abb5920 (2020)
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Hindson, J. FMT for immunotherapy-refractory melanoma. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 18, 82 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41575-021-00413-9