Compartmentalized and Systemic Interactions of the Skin Microbiome in Cancer Immunotherapy Response

Grantee: Julia Oh, Jackson Laboratory, Farmington, Connecticut, USA

Grant: 2,107,529 DKK

My vision is to use metagenomics to better predict patient responses to immunotherapy and rationally design microbial adjuvant cocktails and engineered microbes to improve therapeutic outcomes.

However, a central question is the role of the local microbiota vs. systemic effects in potentiating these immunotherapeutics. In skin cancer, we have been studying how the skin microbiome affects predisposition and progression. Specific gut microbes have been implicated in the outcomes for immunotherapy response in melanoma skin cancer, supporting a role of systemic immune interactions via the gut in potentiating immunotherapy response.

However, because many aspects of cutaneous immunity are compartmentalized from systemic immune effects, we hypothesize that the skin microbiome could uniquely impact skin cancer outcomes during immunotherapy by modulating the cutaneous immune milieu.