Building upon the initial successes of anti–PD-1 and anti–CTLA-4 therapies has been a major focus of drug development over the past several years—basically, in search of other agents that could generate “immune-synergy.” What the term means and implies is critically important: It refers to drugs that work better together than alone (or in sequence) through their individual mechanisms of action to enhance the host immune-response to cancer.
In solid tumor oncology, an evolving treatment paradigm is getting more and more attention—and no, I’m not referring to immunotherapy. In localized solid tumors, surgery is often a standard of care, with intent being toward cure.
The results of multiple studies suggest that bacteria may influence both cancer growth and the immune system, with certain species linked to improved immune surveillance of cancer. Some bacteria interact with the host’s immune system through paracrine factors to shape the immune system’s response to cancer.