Efficacy of immunotherapy, gut microbiota and impact of antibiotic use: are there confounding factors?

  • G. MilanoEmail author
Letter to the Editor

The inter-relationship between host microbiota and immunotherapy by checkpoint inhibitors (CPI) is currently actively investigated at experimental, pre-clinical and clinical levels [1]. It has recently been shown that tumor expression of chemokines associated with T-cell infiltration can be stimulated by gut bacteria, and reduced by antibiotic treatment [2]. Antibiotics may impair gut microbiota and their use is logically suspected to have a deleterious impact on the clinical outcome of patients treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors [2]. There is by consequence a current view bridging antibiotic use, impaired gut microbiota and subsequently negative impact on immune checkpoint inhibitors efficacy which stimulates clinical investigations [3]. Specific clinical studies indicate a poor clinical benefit in patients undergoing immunotherapy with a history of previous antibiotic use [4].

However, it must be kept in mind the clinical context where antibiotics are often administrated...


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares no conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oncopharmacology UnitCentre Antoine Lacassagne and EA 3836 Nice UniversityNice Cedex 2France

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