The microbiota is the community of bacteria, viruses and other organisms that live within or on the human body. Recent studies show that the microbiota shape fundamental aspects of human physiology including immunity, metabolism and possibly even behavior. Many diseases are associated with changes in the microbiome, including autoimmune diseases, heart disease and diabetes. In oncology, emerging data highlights potential applications of the microbiome for diagnostics and biomarkers. In addition, growing evidence suggests that the microbiota can modulate both therapeutic and adverse responses to oncologic treatments, including immunotherapy. This session will provide new perspectives into the spectrum of near-term opportunities for leveraging the microbiota, for diagnostics, biomarkers and novel therapies.
Dr. Wendy Garrett Presents "Cancer and the Microbiome"
Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard Medical School
Wendy Garrett, MD, PhD, is a Professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Garrett’s research focuses on the interplay between the gastrointestinal immune system and the gut microbiota in health, inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer. Her research in mucosal immunology focuses on how the gut microbiota influence both innate and adaptive populations and the contribution of these cells to immune homeostasis and disease. Dr. Garrett has identified both specific species, pathways and metabolites produced by the microbiota that influence health and disease states.