On Day 2, of the Irish Association of Cancer Research Annual conference, we were delighted to hear a great talk from our Principal Investigator in the strategic partnership Precision Oncology Ireland called “Microbiota & Cancer – What? So What? Now What?” It was a thought-provoking talk on bacteria in cancer, what we know, what we still need to know, how does this help in cancer? #IACR2021
See the abstract below and a video we recorded previously, when a member of our Public Patient Panel, cancer survivor Helen McGonagle, chatted to Mark about his work.
Abstract: As various research fields progress, so to do potential avenues towards the development of improved cancer treatment and detection strategies arising from these disparate research fields. The microbiome of cancer patients represents one such evolving avenue. Differences in the composition of the gut microbiome between different cancer patient cohorts have been reported for several years now, and the existence of a tumour microbiome is receiving increasing attention. Following such characterisation studies (‘what’), the field is pursuing ‘so what’ studies to understand any significance and mechanisms of interactions with the body. For development of medical interventions, we must apply findings in ‘now what’ studies. For example, we and others have conducted research assessing the viability of using the propensity of bacterial colonisation of tumour environments as a diagnostic reporting tool, and also the affect of endogenous bacteria on chemotherapy. This talk focuses on where we are today in our understanding of the ‘oncobiome’, and where this might take us in terms of cancer medicine.