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    Gut microbes facilitate antitumor immuotherapy

    Two new studies published in Science reveal that the composition of gut microbiome, the swarms of microorganisms naturally dwelling in the intestines, determines how effective cancer immuotherapies perform.
    Checkpoint blockade is one of the new cancer therapy that aims to unleash the power of human immune system on tumors. Tumor cells are repressed from stimulating receptors that help them evade the immune systems. These studies are the first to link intestinal denizens to the potency of checkpoint inhibitors. Researchers have previous looked for mutations in patient’s genomes that might explain why only a fraction of recipients improve from the treatment.
    Laurence Zitvogel of the Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus in Villejuif, France, and colleagues discovered that an influx of certain bacteria in the Bacteroides and Burkholderia genera strengthened the animals’ response to one checkpoint inhibitor. Thomas Gajewski of the University of Chicago (UC) in Illinois and colleagues came to a similar conclusion as they found melanoma tumors grew slower in mice fed with several several Bifidobacterium species due to the increased efficiency of a checkpoint inhibitor against tumors.
    General Biosystems offers high-throughput Gene Synthesis and Biosystem Optimization services to facilitate your research needs in constructing complex gene circuits and engineering advanced synthetic microbial biosystems.