Trends Immunol 2018 11;39(11):900-920
Department of Genomic Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 77030, USA; Department of Surgical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 77030, USA; These authors contributed equally to this work. Electronic address:
The human microbiome is a complex aggregate of microorganisms, and their genomes exert a number of influences crucial to the metabolic, immunologic, hormonal, and homeostatic function of the host. Recent work, both in preclinical mouse models and human studies, has shed light on the impact of gut and tumor microbiota on responses to systemic anticancer therapeutics. In light of this, strategies to target the microbiome to improve therapeutic responses are underway, including efforts to target gut and intratumoral microbes. Here, we discuss mechanisms by which microbiota may impact systemic and antitumor immunity, in addition to outstanding questions in the field. A deeper understanding of these is critical as we devise putative strategies to target the microbiome.