Cancer treatment response may be affected by gut bacteria
Conclusion This early-stage study gives us some insights into factors that might influence people's responses to a specific type of cancer treatment (immunotherapy with monoclonal antibodies). The findings are of interest, but don't have any immediate implications for cancer treatment. We don't know what the conditions that required antibiotic treatment were and whether these could have affected the response to immunotherapy. We don't know whether the antibiotics themselves influenced how well the immunotherapy worked, or whether it was their effect on gut bacteria. We also don't know whether having high levels of particular bacteria improves people's responses to immunotherapy, or whether the immunotherapy somehow influences the levels of specific bacteria. It's unclear whether the findings are more relevant to certain cancers or specific immunotherapies or antibiotic types, or if they're influenced by other patient characteristics. Further research first needs to clarify whether the gut bacteria directly influences people's responses to immunotherapy, and exactly how this happens. The next step would be to investigate whether treatment to change the gut bacteria could improve people's responses to cancer treatment. Overall, it's likely to be some time before we see whether this early study eventually leads to any changes in the way immunotherapy is given. These findings shouldn't cause any concern for people with cancer who need to take antibiotics. The risk of not ta...
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