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CLL Support Association
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Do Gut Bacteria influence who responds to treatment?

This fascinating article briefly overviews some of the emerging data about the influence of gut bacteria on the immune system. This is a very promising avenue of research and of great interest also to those trying to modify their diets in the hope of stimulating the growth of healthy bacteria.


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This is fascinating! I hope actionable research comes out sooner rather than later!

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Certainly... H.pylori... not sure if it effects treatment but it may be linked to thrombocytopenia in CLL and increased risk for MALT.


Cyclophosphamide has been known about for years and most treatments effect the mucosal IgA production..


The Nature article seems to focus on what gut bacteria exist AFTER treatment. I looked in the article for signs of testing before treatment, and didn't see any. I think they need to do both. It could be that some patients who didn't respond had an entirely different mix of bacteria to begin with. The "good" bacteria could be false positives, or the lack of "good" bacteria could be false negatives. That's why the article stresses demonstrating the mechanics of bacteria-immune interaction as a vital step.

Much of biome research only surveys broad families, and not species or subspecies, because of the cost of full sequencing vs. just sequencing some of the bacterial RNA. There's good E. coli and bad E. coli. The closer scientists look, the more differences they find at the species level. Species also interact with each other. Yet, desperate patients often want to buy probiotics based on genus level names available on the market.

The trials are fertile, but risky research. There was a time when I would have said I would certainly volunteer for such things, but I'm less inclined to say yes as time goes on. I guess I feel more fragile.



And it all comes down to our poop??? Existential crisis here...




here's another article about gut bacteria and leukemia


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