Elucidating the gut microbiota composition and the bioactivity of immunostimulatory commensals for the optimization of immune checkpoint inhibitors

Oncoimmunology. 2020 Jul 20;9(1):1794423. doi: 10.1080/2162402X.2020.1794423.


Accumulating evidence from preclinical studies and human trials demonstrated the crucial role of the gut microbiota in determining the effectiveness of anticancer therapeutics such as immunogenic chemotherapy or immune checkpoint blockade. In summary, it appears that a diverse intestinal microbiota supports therapeutic anticancer responses, while a dysbiotic microbiota composition that lacks immunostimulatory bacteria or contains overabundant immunosuppressive species causes treatment failure. In this review, we explore preclinical and translational studies highlighting how eubiotic and dysbiotic microbiota composition can affect progression-free survival in cancer patients.

Keywords: Anticancer therapeutics; Cancer; gut microbiota.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dysbiosis
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
  • Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Symbiosis


  • Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors