Giorgio Trinchieri, MD, on Fecal Microbiota Transplant to Promote Immunotherapy Response

Giorgio Trinchieri, MD, of the National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Research joined CancerNetwork® to discuss enhancing the gut microbiome by way of fecal transplant for better immunotherapy responses.

A new study suggests that for patients with cancers that do not respond to immunotherapy, adjusting the composition of microorganisms in the intestines, or the gut microbiome, through the use of a fecal transplant may help induce responses.

CancerNetwork® was joined by Giorgio Trinchieri, MD, chief of the Laboratory of Integrative Cancer Immunology in the National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Research, who spoke about the study results.

“A fecal microbiota transplant is a procedure used quite often in medicine for certain infectious disease, and its basically a transfer of fecal preparation from a healthy individual, or in our case with cancer, a patient who has survived treatment,” Trinchieri explained.

In the study discussed, patients with advanced melanoma received a fecal transplant as Trinchieri described for the purposes of enhanced immunity. Six of 15 patients who initially did not respond to pembrolizumab (Keytruda) or nivolumab (Opdivo) showed either some reduction in the size of the tumor or long-term disease stabilization.

This segment comes from the CancerNetwork® portion of the MJH Life Sciences™ Medical World News®, airing daily on all MJH Life Sciences™ channels.


Davar D, Dzutsev AK, McCulloch JA, et al. Fecal microbiota transplant overcomes resistance to anti-PD-1 therapy in melanoma patients. Science. 2021;371(6529):595-602. doi: 10.1126/science.abf3363