Intestinal bacteriophage alters effects of cancer therapies in mice

August 20, 2020

Enterococcus, a genus that includes common commensal bacteria found in the gut, harbors a bacteriophage that influences the effects of various cancer immunotherapies in ways that may be clinically relevant, researchers working in mice report. The findings reveal that intestinal, microbe-specific T cell responses to bacteriophages may contribute to anticancer immune responses by cross reacting with tumor-associated antigens. This highlights microbes' therapeutic potential in the cancer space. Several recent studies have indicated that the gut microbiota plays a role in influencing the cancer-immune set point, which describes the balance between factors that promote or suppress anticancer immunity. Thus, gut microbes have been suspected to be important in the clinical outcome of widely used cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and PD-1 blockade immunotherapy. While it's speculated that intestinal microbes induce memory T cells that cross-react with tumor-associated antigens, the mechanisms through which microbe-specific lymphocytes contribute to antitumor immune responses remain unknown. Aurélie Fluckiger and colleagues discovered that a bacteriophage that preys upon enterococci intestinal bacteria stimulates an immune response that appears to improve the systemic immune response to anticancer treatments. Fluckiger et al. found that administration of enterococci containing the bacteriophage boosted T cell responses in mice, after cancer treatments. The authors further note that the presence of the bacteriophage in human cancer patients was associated with improved survival following PD-1 immunotherapy.
-end-


American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.