In recent years there has been growing interest in the contribution of the microbiome to cancer. In particular, there is compelling evidence that particular gut microbes can promote the development of colon cancer and influence the response of many cancer types to chemotherapy and immunotherapy. The Jacobs Laboratory is collaborating with investigators at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System to investigate the effect of the microbiome on risk of colon cancer recurrence after surgery. This involves collection of stool samples before and at various times after surgery for microbiome analysis, followed by correlation of gut bacteria and their metabolites with tumor features, immune response, and recurrence. Our objective is to identify microbial biomarkers of that can be used to guide treatment decisions for colon cancer patients. In the long-term, we hope to develop novel microbial therapeutics based on our findings that reduce recurrence risk after surgery for colon cancer.
The Jacobs Laboratory is also collaborating with investigators at UCLA, the VA, and USC to study the microbiome in pancreatic cancer, lymphoma survivors, and patients receiving immunotherapy (hepatocellular carcinoma, prostate cancer).