How Immunotherapy Outcomes Can Be Affected by Diet, Gut Microbiota

Immunotherapy presents a relatively new means of treating cancer cells that leverages a patient’s own immune system. Rather than introduce drugs to attack and kill cancer cells, immunotherapy is more concerned with training the immune system to become more effective at finding and killing cancer cells.

This treatment is more effective against specific types of cancers, including tumors that don’t respond to conventional treatments, recurring cancer and advanced cases of cancer.

Immunotherapy has an overall response rate of around 15 to 20% and usually leaves patients with immunological memory, a term used to describe the immune system’s ability to learn how to spot and destroy cancer cells in the long-term even after immunotherapy treatment is over.

Researchers have now found that diet and gut microbiota can affect the outcome of immunotherapy treatment in cancer patients.

Immunotherapy or immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) cancer treatment may be quite effective at treating cancer, but its relatively low response rates mean only a small percentage of cancer patients get to benefit from this treatment.

Scientists theorized that the gut bacteria’s effect on the immune system may also play a role in how patients respond to immunotherapy. Furthermore, the microbiome could help in the development of a tool to determine who would respond to immunotherapy treatment.

Prior research has determined that the gut biome influences the functioning of the immune system, with mice that have fewer gut bacteria exhibiting reduced immune cells and higher susceptibility to conditions such as cancer. In such cases, research has found that adding bacteria to a subject with a deficient gut microbiome could help boost their immune system and bolster their defenses against a myriad of medical conditions.

The gut microbiome in people with cancer often differs in composition compared to people without cancer. For instance, people with untreated pancreatic, colorectal and lung cancer tend to have more levels of bacteria such as Veillonella.

Cancer symptoms such as appetite loss coupled with the side effects of cancer treatment can also affect gut microbiome composition. Diet will also affect the composition of bacteria as certain foods encourage the growth of different bacteria.

The researchers posit that they may be able to use nutrition and gut bacteria coupled with body weight to predict treatment outcomes for cancer patients looking to undergo immunotherapy treatment. Using diet and gut microbiome information in conjunction with modern analysis methods that leverage machine learning and statistics could allow physicians to predict immunotherapy responses in different cancers.

Companies such as BiondVax Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (NASDAQ: BVXV) that are engaged in developing immunotherapies targeting a variety of ailments are likely to assess how any information on the impact of gut biota and diet can enrich their treatment development efforts.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to BiondVax Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (NASDAQ: BVXV) are available in the company’s newsroom at

About BioMedWire

BioMedWire (BMW) is a bio-med news and content distribution company that provides (1) access to a network of wire services via InvestorWire to reach all target markets, industries and demographics in the most effective manner possible, (2) article and editorial syndication to 5,000+ news outlets (3), enhanced press release services to ensure maximum impact, (4) social media distribution via the Investor Brand Network (IBN) to millions of social media followers, (5) a full array of corporate communications solutions, and (6) a total news coverage solution with BMW Prime. As a multifaceted organization with an extensive team of contributing journalists and writers, BMW is uniquely positioned to best serve private and public companies that desire to reach a wide audience of investors, consumers, journalists and the general public. By cutting through the overload of information in today’s market, BMW brings its clients unparalleled visibility, recognition and brand awareness. BMW is where news, content and information converge.

To receive SMS text alerts from BioMedWire, text “Biotech” to 888-902-4192 (U.S. Mobile Phones Only)

For more information, please visit

Please see full terms of use and disclaimers on the BioMedWire website applicable to all content provided by BMW, wherever published or re-published:

BioMedWire (BMW)
San Francisco, California
415.949.5050 Office

BioMedWire is part of the InvestorBrandNetwork.


Select A Month

Official NewsWire Relationships

BIO Informa DGE Dynamic Global Events DTC Healthcare Conference Kiasco Reasearch Nexus Conferences Octane

BioMedWire Currently Accepts



Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin Cash





USD Coin

USD Coin

Contact us: 415.949.5050