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A study, published in Blood, on the role of gut microbiota (GM) in response to chemo-immunotherapeutic agents in patients with relapsed/refractory (R/R) B-cell lymphoma will be presented at the 2021 ASH Annual Meeting & Exposition. 

Over three years, the researchers collected data from a cohort of 17 patients with R/R classic Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) or primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL) who were being treated with anti-PD1. Feces samples were examined at the beginning of the study and specific points throughout therapy. Patients also submitted several 7-day food intake records.

Ultimately, the study found baseline GM differences between the patients and healthy controls, particularly with microbial components. When analyzing the patients’ microbial ecosystems, the researchers found significant enrichment in the pathobiont Collinsella and significant depletion of health-associated taxa and producers of short-chain fatty acids, such as Faecalibacterium, Ruminococcus, Coprococcus, and Roseburia.

Additionally, analysis of the patients’ food intake reports exhibited a greater lipid consumption and lower carbohydrate consumption in responders versus non-responders. 

Overall, the study of GM illustrated particular trends and differences in patients with cHL undergoing anti-PD1 therapy. Greater plasticity in GM biodiversity was found in responders when compared to non-responders, which may indicate a lower resilience of the disease state. A call to action was made for research on integrated intervention strategies related to macronutrients and GM in this patient population in the therapeutic setting [1]. 


[1] Casadei, B., Guadagnuolo, S., Barone, M., Turroni, S., Argnani, L., Brigidi, P., & Zinzani, P. L. (2021). Gut microbiota role in response to checkpoint inhibitor treatment in patients with relapsed/refractory B-cell Hodgkin lymphoma: the MICRO-Linf study. Blood, 138(Supplement 1), 2957. https://doi.org/10.1182/blood-2021-146813

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