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Cancer pharmacomicrobiomics: targeting microbiota to optimise cancer therapy outcomes

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Key messages

⇒ Emerging evidence has shown the critical
role of gut microbiota in modulating cancer
treatment outcomes especially in chemotherapy
and immunotherapy.
⇒ The gut microbiota has extremely complex
interactions with cancer drugs by means of
pharmacokinetics (eg, metabolism, enzymatic
degradation) and pharmacodynamics (eg,
⇒ Meanwhile, cancer therapy can alter the
microbiota composition, creating bidirectional
⇒ The gut microbiota has the potential to be
a predictive biomarker for cancer treatment
responses, which can be useful in guiding the
selection of appropriate cancer treatments.
⇒ Microbiota modulation, including antibiotics,
probiotics, prebiotics, dietary modulation and
faecal microbiota transplantation, has shown
potential in optimising cancer treatment
⇒ The gut microbiota can be more easily modified
compared with host genetics and is expected to
play a vital role in next-generation personalised
⇒ Future research should identify a consortium of
microbes with remarkable influence on cancer
treatments as well as an optimised approach
for microbiota modulation.

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