Dr. Arielle Elkrief and Dr. Bertrand Routy, two researchers at the Montreal Cancer Institute, will launch a randomized clinical trial to test fecal microbiota transplantation to improve treatments for advanced melanoma. Previous research shows that this method can make immunotherapy more effective, although the exact mechanisms remain unknown.

The goal is to predict the response to immunotherapy by analyzing the patients’ gut microbiome, similar to tumor sequencing. The trial will involve 12 researchers and 130 patients across Canada, using immune checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy. Half of the patients who do not respond well to immunotherapy could benefit from adjusting their gut microbiome.

Funded by several organizations, this trial could revolutionize melanoma treatment and potentially other cancers such as lung and kidney cancer. The trial results could lead to more effective and faster treatments.

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