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Papers of note in Science Translational Medicine 9 (379)

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Science Signaling  07 Mar 2017:
Vol. 10, Issue 469, eaan0901
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aan0901

This week’s articles identify a potential marker by which to stratify patients for immunotherapy and the ability of gut microbes to influence host behavior and intestinal function.


Checking on checkpoint inhibitors

Roh et al. discover that T cell receptor profiles may predict therapeutic response or resistance of melanoma patients to PD-1 or CTLA-4 checkpoint-blocking drugs, suggesting that these profiles may help identify patients most likely to respond well to these immunotherapies and avoid the unnecessary risk and expense in patients who are unlikely to respond.


Connecting the gut-brain axis

De Palma et al. report that fecal transplants from patients with irritable bowel syndrome and anxiety to mice altered intestinal function and behavior that were associated with differences in serum metabolomic profiles, suggesting that gut microbes release both short-range factors that signal to the gut epithelia and long-range factors that signal to the brain through the circulation.

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