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Last Updated: 08/05/21

NCI Fecal Microbiota Transplants and Defined-microbiota Consortia Cancer Therapeutics

Conference, Working Group and Highlights

Strategic Workshop on Rigor and Reproducibility: Precision Fecal Microbiota Transplant and Microbiome Cancer Therapeutics - September 5, 2019

A 2016 NCI workshop on the "State of the Science: Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine Therapeutics Research" and the recent upsurge in the field of gut microbiota research suggest that the microbiome plays a role in cancer therapeutic outcomes, including anti-PD-1 immunotherapy. NCI convened a "Strategic Workshop on Rigor and Reproducibility: Precision Fecal Microbiota Transplant and Microbiome Cancer Therapeutics" on September 5, 2019 (agenda) brought together scientists and FDA regulatory staff in the fields of FMT, pre/probiotics, nutrition, microbiome, synthetic biology, biomarkers, computation, immunology, gastroenterology, oncology, and infection to focused on research needs and opportunities towards translational clinical research.

Highlights and Future Research Opportunities

  • Human and mouse preliminary data demonstrated possible immunotherapy benefits from providing FMT from anti-PD1 responders to some non-responders.
  • In mice, a fiber-rich diet improved anti-PD-1 immunotherapy, and an association was observed in humans along with improvement in gut microbiome diversity.
  • A collaboration with the FMT national registry was suggested to include cancer patients for long-term safety and outcome follow up.
  • Coordinated, collaborative, multi-center cancer therapeutic FMT clinical trials were endorsed.
  • A network to develop a Human Cancer Immunotherapy Fecal Microbiome Atlas or Biobank was proposed.

Research Highlights and Publications

  • NIH Funded Research:
    Davar, D. et al. Fecal microbiota transplant overcomes resistance to anti-PD-1 therapy in melanoma patients. Science 371, 6529, 595-602 (2021). DOI: 10.1126/science.abf3363
  • Others:
    Baruch, E. N. et al. Fecal microbiota transplant promotes response in immunotherapy-refractory melanoma patients. Science 371, 6529, 602-609 (2021) DOI: 10.1126/science.abb5920

NCI FMT and Defined-microbiota Consortia Cancer Therapeutics Speaker Series

  • Upcoming:
    Hassane Zarour, MD, Professor of Medicine, Immunology and Dermatology, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center