19 September 2019

Researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre have found the diversity and composition of the faecal microbiome to be linked to long-term tumour response and survival in patients with pancreatic cancer.

The faecal bacterial DNA from matched short- and long-term survivors from two independent cohorts was observed, and it was found that long-term survivors had a substantially greater diversity of bacterial species, and also that the presence of genera Pseudoxanthomonas, Saccharropolyspora and Streptomyces and the species Bacillus clausii was predictive of longer survival in both cohorts.

Within the study mice received stool transplants from patients who had advanced pancreatic cancer, including patients who had survived for more than five years, and healthy controls. Mice that received faeces from long-term survivors had smaller tumours than those that received transplants from healthy controls.

Although the tumour microbiome cannot be altered directly, if there is crosstalk between the gut and tumour microbiomes, then the results of these experiments suggest the therapeutic potential of faecal transplants to improve pancreatic cancer treatment. http://www.firstwordpharma.com