NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine investigators have learned that cancer patients who received antibiotics within 60 days of starting immunotherapy were significantly less likely to respond to cancer treatment than those not receiving antibiotics. They reported their findings recently at the 2019 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.
The evidence emerging from the research suggests that the gut microbiome may influence antitumor response during treatment with checkpoint inhibitors. Antibiotics can trigger microbiome dysbiosis. As reported in Clinical Oncology, the investigators sought to show that the use of antibiotics during immunotherapy may adversely affect the efficacy of checkpoint inhibitors. Their study earned a Merit Award at the meeting. They performed a comprehensive retrospective analysis of all checkpoint inhibitor patients between 2015 and 2018. Patients prescribed antibiotics within six months of initiating or completing immunotherapy fit into the inclusion criteria.
Uqba Khan, MD, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine