MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Joao Xavier PhD
Associate Faculty Member | Computational & Systems Biology
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York, NY 10065
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Our team at Memorial Sloan Kettering has been investigating the intestinal microbiota of patients receiving bone marrow transplantations for more than eight years now. We have found through several studies that these patients lose important healthy bacteria from their microbiota, and that these losses are mostly caused by the antibiotics given as prophylaxis or to treat infections.
We also found that the drastic changes in the microbiota composition, especially the intestinal dominations by bacteria such as Enterococcus, increase the risk of transplant-related complications and lowered patient survival.
We aimed to determine the feasibility of autologous microbiota transplant (auto-FMT) as a way to reconstitute lost bacteria. This randomized study found that indeed auto-FMT could reconstitute important microbial groups to patients.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: The main message is that autologous microbiota transplant is feasible and can restore lost microbiota composition in patients receiving bone marrow transplantation.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: The success of auto-FMT in reconstituting a patients microbiota varied considerably from patient to patient. In the best case a patient recovered practically 100% but in the worst case the recovery was 50%. While the effect of auto-FMT is statistically significantly, understanding why its success varies between patients (which could be due to factors like the actual composition of the transplant, the state of the microbiota before the transplant or even personal factors like host genetics or the underlying disease) will be important for future microbiota therapies.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: As the pilot study continues we will be able to determine whether auto-FMT also improves clinical outcomes, a question we left unanswered in this report but which will be addressed in the near future.
BY YING TAUR, KATHARINE COYTE, JONAS SCHLUTER, ELIZABETH ROBILOTTI, CESAR FIGUEROA, MERGIM GJONBALAJ, ERIC R. LITTMANN, LILAN LING, LIZA MILLER, YANGTSHO GYALTSHEN, EMILY FONTANA, SEJAL MORJARIA, BOGLARKA GYURKOCZA, MIGUEL-ANGEL PERALES, HUGO CASTRO-MALASPINA, RONI TAMARI, DORIS PONCE, GUENTHER KOEHNE, JULIET BARKER, ANN JAKUBOWSKI, ESPERANZA PAPADOPOULOS, PARASTOO DAHI, CRAIG SAUTER, BRIAN SHAFFER, JAMES W. YOUNG, JONATHAN PELED, RICHARD C. MEAGHER, ROBERT R. JENQ, MARCEL R. M. VAN DEN BRINK, SERGIO A. GIRALT, ERIC G. PAMER, JOAO B. XAVIER
SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE26 SEP 2018
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