Article: Prospective correlation between the patient microbiome with response to and development of immune-mediated adverse effects to immunotherapy in lung cancer
Authors: Justin Chau, Meeta Yadav, Ben Liu, Muhammad Furqan, Qun Dai, Shailesh Shahi, Arnav Gupta, Keri Nace Mercer, Evan Eastman, Taher Abu Hejleh , Carlos Chan, George J Weiner, Catherine Cherwin, Sonny T M Lee, Cuncong Zhong, Ashutosh Mangalam, Jun Zhang
Journal: BMC Cancer. 2021 Jul 13;21(1):808.
Background: Though the gut microbiome has been associated with efficacy of immunotherapy (ICI) in certain cancers, similar findings have not been identified for microbiomes from other body sites and their correlation to treatment response and immune related adverse events (irAEs) in lung cancer (LC) patients receiving ICIs.
Methods: We designed a prospective cohort study conducted from 2018 to 2020 at a single-center academic institution to assess for correlations between the microbiome in various body sites with treatment response and development of irAEs in LC patients treated with ICIs. Patients must have had measurable disease, ECOG 0-2, and good organ function to be included. Data was collected for analysis from January 2019 to October 2020. Patients with histopathologically confirmed, advanced/metastatic LC planned to undergo immunotherapy-based treatment were enrolled between September 2018 and June 2019. Nasal, buccal and gut microbiome samples were obtained prior to initiation of immunotherapy +/- chemotherapy, at development of adverse events (irAEs), and at improvement of irAEs to grade 1 or less.
Results: Thirty-seven patients were enrolled, and 34 patients were evaluable for this report. 32 healthy controls (HC) from the same geographic region were included to compare baseline gut microbiota. Compared to HC, LC gut microbiota exhibited significantly lower α-diversity. The gut microbiome of patients who did not suffer irAEs were found to have relative enrichment of Bifidobacterium (p = 0.001) and Desulfovibrio (p = 0.0002). Responders to combined chemoimmunotherapy exhibited increased Clostridiales (p = 0.018) but reduced Rikenellaceae (p = 0.016). In responders to chemoimmunotherapy we also observed enrichment of Finegoldia in nasal microbiome, and increased Megasphaera but reduced Actinobacillus in buccal samples. Longitudinal samples exhibited a trend of α-diversity and certain microbial changes during the development and resolution of irAEs.
Conclusions: This pilot study identifies significant differences in the gut microbiome between HC and LC patients, and their correlation to treatment response and irAEs in LC. In addition, it suggests potential predictive utility in nasal and buccal microbiomes, warranting further validation with a larger cohort and mechanistic dissection using preclinical models.
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