Report highlights link between the microbiome and melanoma

Four clinical trials that aim to study and modulate gut microbiome’s impact on response to immunotherapy of melanoma have been registered in the last two years

Elsevier, the information analytics company specialising in science and health, has published the findings of a new report on melanoma R&D, highlighting the implication of the microbiome in the onset and progression of the disease, as well as in the toxicity of, and response rate, to cancer treatments.

Created by Elsevier’s Professional Services group, the report shows that in 2018, two of the three most cited research papers mentioning melanoma in the title, abstract or keywords explore the influence of the microbiome in response to melanoma patients—with over 700 citations.

The findings also showed that within the small molecules and targets pipeline there is an increased focus on targeted therapeutics towards patients with specific melanoma gene mutations, echoing the industry trend towards the development of precision medicines.

“Utilising proprietary datasets and analytical tools, the Elsevier report highlights the huge expansion of melanoma research over the last decade,” said Marc Hurlbert, Chief Science Officer of Melanoma Research Alliance. “Also noted, the role of the microbiome in melanoma and in response to immunotherapy is of increasing interest in the field.”

Tim Hoctor, VP of Life Science Solutions at Elsevier, said: “We are also hearing from all customers that microbiome research will explode in 2020, and is a big focus across all disease areas, including dementia related studies, and the increase in studies mentioning the microbiome bears out this prediction.”

Further report findings also showed that, since 2018, four clinical trials that aim to study and modulate gut microbiome’s impact on response to immunotherapy of melanoma have been registered at clinicaltrials.gov and are currently recruiting patients or about to start recruitment.

Tom Williams, lead report author and Life Sciences Professional Services Project Manager at Elsevier, said: “We plan now to develop further reports to support R&D efforts in other areas, particularly around the protein targets involved in specific diseases, the microbiome and rare diseases.”

The full report, “The Current State of Melanoma Research: Insights and Analytics”, created by Elsevier’s Professional Services group, looks at melanoma R&D, the biology and mechanisms of the disease, general knowledge gaps, therapeutics and the emerging topic of the microbiome-melanoma association.