Our microbiome is the sum genetic content of the trillions of bacteria that live in our guts. We have only recently begun to understand the importance of our microbiome to our health and wellbeing. Our microbiomes have a role to play in digestion, fighting infection and regulating our immune systems.

Researchers in France and the US have now discovered and published evidence that the microbiome also has a role to play in how effective immunotherapies are in treating cancer. In fact, a specific strain called Akkermansia muciniphila, was present in 70% of patients who responded to immunotherapy but in only 30% of those who did not.

In the US study, cancer patients with a more diverse microbiome tended to respond better than those who did not.

The microbiome is game-changing. Not just in cancer but for overall health. It's definitely going to be a major player.

Dr Jennifer Wargo, University of Texas

You can read more about the studies in the journal Science.