In cooperation with several Austrian hospitals, Biome Diagnostics GmbH, known for its product “myBioma”, is conducting a research project in the field of cancer immunotherapy. The aim of the world’s leading bioinformatics company is to predict tumor response on the basis of the intestinal microbiome composition prior to treatment start.
VIENNA, March 2021: The Austrian company is a global leader in microbiome diagnostics and specialises in the analysis and subsequent interpretation of the human intestinal microbiome using in-house software algorithms. The intestinal bacteria play an essential role in shaping the body’s immune response. The influence of the microbiome on the response to modern cancer immunotherapies (immune checkpoint inhibitors) has been very well documented in recent studies.
The study started in January 2021 and will be completed by the end of this year. A total of 90 patients with lung cancer (NSCLC), renal cell cancer (RCC) and malignant melanoma shall be included in the research project. The aim of the study is to find out whether the bacterial composition in the intestine has an effect on the success of immunotherapy in various tumour diseases. For this purpose, stool samples are taken before and during therapy, analysed with the latest DNA methods (next-generation sequencing) and afterwards evaluated with bioinformatic and statistical methods.
The study runs in the largest Austrian cancer centres. Participating research partners are:
- Prim. Doz. Dr. Arschang Valipour, Vienna Floridsdorf Clinic (Department of Internal Medicine and Pneumology)
- Ao.Univ.Prof.in Dr.in med.univ. Manuela Schmidinger, Medical University of Vienna (Clinical Department of Urology)
- Univ.Prof. Priv.-Doz. Dr.med.univ. Erika Richtig, Medical University of Graz (University Clinic for Dermatology)
- Priv.-Doz. Dr.med.univ. Gudrun Absenger and Assoz. Prof. Priv.-Doz. Dr.med.univ. Martin Pichler, Medical University of Graz (Department of Oncology)
- Univ.-Prof.in Dr.in Van Anh Nguyen, Medical University of Innsbruck (University Clinic for Dermatology)
“Microbiome diagnostics is certainly one of the most promising research areas of our time. This project should provide us with deeper insights into the interaction between the body’s own microbiome and cancer immunotherapy. This could help us in the future to tailor cancer treatment more specifically to affected patients and to individualise the risk-benefit profile of the therapy as much as possible.”Principal Investigator is the head of the Department of Internal Medicine and Pneumology at the Klinik Floridsdorf, Prim. Doz. Dr. Arschang Valipour
With the successful completion of the research project the ambition is to develop a CE-IVD labelled diagnostic test for clinical routine. This non-invasive test should, for the first time, allow oncologists to predict the response and potential side effects of cancer immunotherapy before treatment start and enable more patients to receive effective and safe immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy. Worldwide this would be the first certified biomarker in the intestinal microbiome field and a milestone on the way to truly personalised cancer immunotherapy.
Biome Diagnostics GmbH’s lifestyle product “myBioma“, which has already been established for a few years, has enabled the company to build up a lot of experience and expertise in dealing with microbiome data. If the project succeeds, Biome Diagnostics GmbH will be the first company in the world to be allowed to offer microbiome diagnostics in the medical field. Internationally, many eyes are on the company, as the founders Dr. Nikolaus Gasche and Dr. Barbara Sladek explain.