Antibiotics weaken immunotherapy in cancer patients

Antibiotics weaken immunotherapy in cancer patients

Pinato.J et al showed evidence suggesting that antibiotic therapy may be associated with a reduced response to immunotherapy in routine practice, irrespective of tumour site. The researchers recruited 196 patients (137 men and 59 women) with non–small cell lung cancer (n = 119), melanoma (n = 38), and other tumour types (n = 39) who received immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy (ICIs), in routine clinical practice. Overall survival (OS) in patients with non–small cell lung cancer (2.5 vs 26 months, P < .001), melanoma (3.9 vs 14 months, P < .001), and other tumour types (1.1 vs 11, P < .001) was consistently worse in those who received prior antibiotic therapy compared to those who did not. Patients with prior antibiotic use were also likely to be less responsive to immunotherapy, with their primary disease almost twice as likely to progress. The study suggests that prior antibiotic therapy is associated with a worse treatment response and OS in patients treated with ICIs in routine clinical practice.

Source: JAMA Oncology September 12, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.2785 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaoncology/article-abstract/2749683

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