Chemotherapy, immunity and microbiota—a new triumvirate?
The growing relevance of the gut microbiota to various human diseases may also directly impinge on the efficacy of chemotherapeutics. A recent study shows that subcutaneous tumors fail to respond to immunotherapy and platinum chemotherapy after antibiotic treatment1, whereas another study reports that the effect of cyclophosphamide on the antitumor immune response relies on the presence of a ‘healthy’ gut microbiota2. The mechanisms mediating the role of the microbiota in the immune system during chemotherapy seem to involve the innate and adaptive immune arms. The unexpected influence of commensal intestinal bacteria in the outcome of cancer treatment and the function of anticancer immunity poses new questions from a preclinical and clinical standpoint in the cancer field.
Nat Med. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2015 Feb 24.