Bacteria can arguably be our body’s worst nightmares. But what if they could work to kill tumors?
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Bacteria Helps Make Us Fat and Thin
“New evidence indicates that gut bacteria alter the way we store fat, how we balance levels of glucose in the blood, and how we respond to hormones that make us feel hungry or full. The wrong mix of microbes, it seems, can help set the stage for obesity and diabetes from the moment of birth.”
How gut microbes are joining the fight against cancer
“But the taunting stopped after Routy and his colleagues published evidence that certain gut bacteria seem to boost people’s response to treatment1. Now, those physicians are eager to analyse faecal samples from their patients in the hope of predicting who is likely to respond to anticancer drugs. “It was an eye-opener for a lot of people who couldn’t see the clinical relevance of gut microbes,” says Routy, who is now at the University of Montreal Health Centre in Canada.”
Gut bacteria influence effectiveness of a type of immunotherapy
“The type of immunotherapy, called checkpoint inhibition, can cause even advanced tumors to shrink rapidly or disappear. Unfortunately, only a minority of patients have such strong responses to these therapies, and researchers have been trying to figure out why.”