A Mediterranean diet rich in fiber, monounsaturated fatty acids, and polyphenols was associated with improved Immunotherapy Response rates and progression-free survival in advanced melanoma patients, a new study presented today in UEG Week 2022 have been found.
Experts expect diet to play a role in the success of immunotherapy and trials are expanding to investigate outcomes for different types of tumors, including gastrointestinal cancers.
A Mediterranean diet, which contains mono- and polyunsaturated fats from olive oil, nuts, fish, polyphenols, and fiber from vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, has been significantly associated with an improved response to immunotherapy drugs called immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). ICIs, which have been very successful in treating skin cancer, work by blocking immune system checkpoints, which force the body’s T cells to attack cancers.
The new multicenter study by researchers from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands recorded the dietary intake of 91 patients with advanced melanoma, who were treated with ICI medications and monitored for their progress with regular radiographic response examinations.
“It has previously been shown that the gut microbiome is associated with response to treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors,” said Laura Bolt, PhD/PhD student in the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University Medical Center Groningen. Inside Precision Medicine.
“Interestingly, many of the bacteria identified have a role in the breakdown of fiber and starch and the synthesis of short-chain fatty acids that are known to have a broad impact on the immune system. Given this role, the hypothesis arose that diet, especially a diet rich in fiber, correlates with the response from through its effect on the gut microbiome. This has already been demonstrated by two studies of fiber intake.”
Studies linking the overall composition of the diet beyond specific nutrients to response to treatment have been lacking in the literature. This group performed analyzes of dietary pattern and found that the Mediterranean diet was associated with a response to immune checkpoint inhibitors.
In addition to having a significant association with the overall response rate, the Mediterranean diet was significantly associated with progression-free survival at 12 months.
Said Bolt: “ICI has helped revolutionize the treatment of various types of advanced cancers. Our study emphasizes the importance of nutritional assessment for cancer patients who start treatment with intrauterine interventions and supports a role for diet strategies to improve patient outcomes and survival.”
The study also found that eating whole grains and legumes reduced the likelihood of developing drug-induced immune-related side effects, such as colitis. In contrast, red and processed meats were associated with a higher likelihood of immune-related side effects.
“The relationship between ICI response, diet, and the gut microbiome opens up a promising and exciting future for enhancing treatment responses. Clinical trials are currently underway investigating the effect of a high-fiber diet, ketogenic diet, and omega-3 supplementation,” Bolt noted. different types of tumors, including gastrointestinal cancers, these studies could unlock the benefits of treatment for a wide range of cancer patients in the future.
She added, “It is known that a Mediterranean diet rich in plant-derived foods, fiber and unsaturated fats from vegetable oils, nuts and fish, is associated with gut bacteria that have been linked to a response to immunotherapy. Therefore, there may be potential for diet modification of the gut microbiome, Which affects the immune system, thus improving the response to immunotherapy.”