Gut microbiome & melanoma


PRIMM (Predicting Response to Immunotherapy for Melanoma With Gut Microbiome and Metabolomics) is an international, collaborative study led by Dr Nathan, consultant dermatologist Dr Veronique Bataille and Professor Tim Spector at King’s College. Together they are looking at the influence of the gut microbiome on the effectiveness and toxicity of immunotherapy in melanoma patients.

CTRT has also part-funded Dr Karla Lee’s PhD on the role of the gut microbiome in melanoma patients receiving immunotherapy. Karla and her collaborators have shown relationships between the gut microbiome and response to immunotherapy in a number of patient cohorts across Europe. The interaction is complex with different bugs associated with cancer outcomes in different patient populations.

Karla has gone on to analyse changes in circulating proteins associated with these interactions and hopes to be able to make recommendations on dietary advice for patients receiving immunotherapy that could improve their likelihood of benefiting from treatment.

Karla has just submitted her PhD thesis to her examiners. Her highly successful project is reflected by her publications listed below:

A picture of cells taken up close under green light
  • Lee KA*, Thomas A*, Bolte L*, Björk J, Kist de Ruijter L, Armanini F, Asnicar F, Board R, Calbet-Llopart N, Derosa L, Dhomen N, Brooks K, Harland M, Harries M, Leeming E, Lorigan P, Manghi P, Marais R, Newton-Bishop J, Nezi L, Potrony M, Puig S, Serra-Bellver P, Shaw H, Valpione S, Vijay A, Waldron L, Zitvogel L, de Vries E, Nathan P, Fehrmann R, Bataille V, Hospers G, Spector T, Weersma R, Segata N. Cross cohort gut microbiome associations with immune checkpoint inhibitor response in advanced melanoma. Nature Medicine, [I.F. 53.44], 2022


  • Cortellini A, Ricciuti B, Facchinetti F, Alessi JVM, Venkatraman D, Dall’Olio FG, Cravero P, Vaz VR, Ottaviani D, Majem M, Piedra A, Sullivan I, Lee KA, Lamberti G, Hussain N, Clark J, Bolina A, Barba A, Benitez JC, Gorría T, Mezquita L, Hoton D, Aboubakar Nana F, Besse B, Awad MM, Pinato DJ. Antibiotic-exposed patients with non-small-cell lung cancer preserve efficacy outcomes following first-line chemo-immunotherapy. Annals of Oncology. [I.F. 32.98] 2021 Nov;32(11):1391- 1399.


  • Lee KA*, Luong MK*, Shaw H, Nathan P, Bataille V, Spector TD. The gut microbiome: what the oncologist ought to know. British Journal of Cancer. [I.F.
    7.64] 2021 Oct;125(9):1197-1209. 


  • Österdahl MF*, Lee KA*, Lochlainn MN, Wilson S, Douthwaite S, Horsfall R, Sheedy A, Goldenberg SD, Stanley CJ, Spector TD, Steves CJ. Detecting SARS- CoV-2 at point of care: preliminary data comparing loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) to polymerase chain reaction (PCR). BMC Infectious Diseases. [I.F. 3.01] 2020 Oct 20;20(1):783.
  • Lee KA, Shaw H, Bataille V, Nathan P. Campylobacteriosis following immunosuppression for immune checkpoint inhibitor-related toxicity. Journal of Immunotherapy for Cancer. [I.F. 13.75] 2020 Oct;8(2):e000577.


  • Lee KA, Shaw HM, Bataille V, Nathan P, Spector TD. Role of the gut microbiome for cancer patients receiving immunotherapy: Dietary and treatment implications. European Journal of Cancer. [I.F. 9.162] 2020 Oct;138:149-155.


  • Holly AE*, Lee KA*, Daniel CR, Spector TD, Mcquade JL; August 2020, Patient Nutrition: An Overlooked Yet Emerging Variable in the Precision Oncology
    Equation, Journal on Immunotherapy and Precision Oncology [I.F. not yet given] 3(3): 108-112


  • Lee KA, Nathan P. Cutaneous Melanoma – A Review of Systemic Therapies. Acta Dermato Venereologica. [I.F. 4.437] 2020 Jun 3;100(11):adv00141.