Microbial metabolites and other biomarkers in melanoma

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Biomarkers for response and toxicity in melanoma patients receiving immune checkpoint inhibitors with focus on the role of microbial metabolites



  • Contact name

    Alberto Fusi

  • Contact email


  • Sponsor organisation

    St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    3 years, 0 months, 0 days

  • Research summary

    Immunotherapy has been proved to be a very effective treatment for melanoma. The most common immunotherapeutic agents are called immune checkpoints inhibitors and they work by boosting the normal immune system and by restoring immune processes which get blocked when cancer develops. These drugs boost all the immune cells, not only the ones that attack the cancer. An overactive immune system following treatment with checkpoint inhibitors can damage the organs affected and this can be serious.
    At the moment we do not have a way to predict either response or toxicity to immunotherapy. There are however some indications that the individual microbiome (ie the collection of all microbes, such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and their genes, that naturally live in our bodies) and some liquid markers related to the immune system which can be detected in blood may have a role.
    With this study we aim to evaluate a panel of immunological biomarkers and microbial metabolites in blood and stool samples of patients with melanoma receiving immunotherapy. This help to identify patients most likely to respond to treatment or most likely to develop toxicity.

  • REC name

    North East - Newcastle & North Tyneside 2 Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    1 Jun 2023

  • REC opinion

    Favourable Opinion