Cancer treatment has been deeply changed by immunotherapy, achieving unprecedented improvement in overall and progression-free survival in several advanced and metastatic cancers. Currently, immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) antibodies against cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen (CTLA-4) and programmed death/ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1) are being tested and approved for different tumors, ranging from melanoma to lung carcinoma. However, only a subgroup of patients can reach treatment benefits and long-term responses, and reliable biomarkers that can accurately predict clinical responses to immunotherapy are still unidentified. In the last decade, accumulating evidence seems to suggest the gut microbiota as one of the modulators that can alter the efficacy and toxicity of immunotherapy drugs (as well as chemotherapeutics), mainly acting through the local and systemic immune system. Herein, we reviewed the highly dynamic and complex microbiome-immune system interface, its bidirectional relationship with cancer immunotherapies, and explored the future possibilities and risks in manipulating the gut microbiome.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.