A growing body of evidence suggests that the people with greater diversity in their microbiome—the composition of microorganisms that live on and inside the body—respond better to cancer treatments called immune checkpoint inhibitors. The results of these studies could be beneficial for people with melanoma, says Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD, deputy director of NYU Langone Health’s Perlmutter Cancer Center.
“The major drawbacks to the use of checkpoint inhibitors in melanoma and other cancers is, frankly, not everybody responds,” Dr. Weber, also the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Professor of Oncology in the Department of Medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, tells Medscape. “More than half the patients of those with metastatic melanoma will be refractory to the treatment with the immune checkpoint inhibitors, i.e., there’s a lot of room for improvement.”
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