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Scientists Look in the Toilet in Search for New Cancer Treatment

  • Biotechs seek ways to harness gut bugs for immune therapy
  • "If you ignore the microbiome, you’re making a big mistake"

Scientists seeking to supercharge advanced cancer drugs are looking in an unexpected place for inspiration: the toilet.

New research suggests a link between the trillions of bugs that inhabit the bowels and the effectiveness of immune therapies--drugs that tap the body’s defenses to fight tumors. That has spurred companies worldwide to start delving into patients’ stools in search of a better understanding of microbes in the digestive system.