Longitudinal gut microbiome changes in immune checkpoint blockade-treated advanced melanoma

Johannes R Björk*, Laura A Bolte, Andrew Maltez Thomas, Karla A Lee, Niccolo Rossi, Thijs T Wind, Lotte M Smit, Federica Armanini, Francesco Asnicar, Aitor Blanco-Miguez, Ruth Board, Neus Calbet-Llopart, Lisa Derosa, Nathalie Dhomen, Kelly Brooks, Mark Harland, Mark Harries, Paul Lorigan, Paolo Manghi, Richard MaraisJulia Newton-Bishop, Luigi Nezi, Federica Pinto, Miriam Potrony, Susana Puig, Patricio Serra-Bellver, Heather M Shaw, Sabrina Tamburini, Sara Valpione, Levi Waldron, Laurence Zitvogel, Moreno Zolfo, Elisabeth G E de Vries, Paul Nathan, Rudolf S N Fehrmann, Tim D Spector, Véronique Bataille, Nicola Segata, Geke A P Hospers, Rinse K Weersma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


Multiple clinical trials targeting the gut microbiome are being conducted to optimize treatment outcomes for immune checkpoint blockade (ICB). To improve the success of these interventions, understanding gut microbiome changes during ICB is urgently needed. Here through longitudinal microbiome profiling of 175 patients treated with ICB for advanced melanoma, we show that several microbial species-level genome bins (SGBs) and pathways exhibit distinct patterns from baseline in patients achieving progression-free survival (PFS) of 12 months or longer (PFS ≥12) versus patients with PFS shorter than 12 months (PFS <12). Out of 99 SGBs that could discriminate between these two groups, 20 were differentially abundant only at baseline, while 42 were differentially abundant only after treatment initiation. We identify five and four SGBs that had consistently higher abundances in patients with PFS ≥12 and <12 months, respectively. Constructing a log ratio of these SGBs, we find an association with overall survival. Finally, we find different microbial dynamics in different clinical contexts including the type of ICB regimen, development of immune-related adverse events and concomitant medication use. Insights into the longitudinal dynamics of the gut microbiome in association with host factors and treatment regimens will be critical for guiding rational microbiome-targeted therapies aimed at enhancing ICB efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)785–796
Number of pages12
JournalNature Medicine
Early online date16-Feb-2024
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2024


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