Immunotherapy is known to boost the immunity and capability of the body to fight germs. One of the most common immunotherapy treatments is use of medicine known as immune checkpoint inhibitors. These inhibitors act as a barrier for proteins, thereby preventing the cancer cells from attacking the immunity cells. The major challenge is these checkpoint inhibitors are not effective in all kinds of cancer. These inhibitors also come with some major side effects.
The study has been published in the Nature Communications journal. This study aims to identify people who will best benefits from this new medicine. This study also informs how the interaction between molecules and gut bacteria boosts the immunity of the body and improves the ability of the body to fight cancer.
A group of international researchers has been involved in this study. 3 hospitals have partnered with the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, La Jolla in CA. Thomas Gajewski from Chicago University who is involved in the immunotherapy treatment for cancer informed that this is a significant step in helping people suffering from this fatal disease. However, he was not involved in this research study.
The researchers have noted 11 gut bacteria strains which have interacted with the immune system and have successfully slowed down the growth of the melanoma tumor in the mice. They have also found a path called Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) which acts as a key linkage between the gut bacteria and the anti- tumor power of the immune system.
UPR is a cellular functionality which is known to keep the protein stable in the body. This also clears the cell stress which has negative impact on health. The researchers suggest that the high UPR functionality can act as an identifier of patients with melanoma and who might get better help from the inhibitors.