Randomized trial assessing impact of probiotic supplementation on gut microbiome and clinical outcome from targeted therapy in metastatic renal cell carcinoma.

Studies suggest a link between the gut microbiome and metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) outcomes, including evidence that mRCC patients possess a lower abundance of Bifidobacterium spp. compared to healthy adults. We sought to assess if a Bifidobacterium-containing yogurt product could modulate the gut microbiome and clinical outcome from vascular endothelial growth factor-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (VEGF-TKIs). mRCC patients initiating VEGF-TKIs, regardless of the line of therapy, were randomized to probiotic-supplemented (two 4 oz. servings of the probiotic yogurt product daily) or probiotic-restricted arms. Stool samples were collected prior to therapy and at weeks 2, 3, 4, and 12. Microbiome composition was assessed using whole-metagenome sequencing. A total of 20 patients were randomized. Bifidobacterium animalis, the active ingredient of the probiotic supplement, reached detectable levels in all patients in the probiotic-supplemented arm versus two patients in the probiotic-restricted arm. Clinical benefit rate was similar in probiotic-supplemented versus probiotic-restricted arms (70% vs. 80%, p = 0.606). Linear discriminant analysis (LDA) effect size analysis of MetaPhIAn2 abundance data predicted 25 enriched species demonstrating an LDA score >3 in either clinical benefit or no clinical benefit. In patients with clinical benefit (vs. no clinical benefit), Barnesiella intestinihominis and Akkermansia muciniphila were significantly more abundant (p = 7.4 × 10-6 and p = 5.6 × 10-3 , respectively). This is the first prospective randomized study demonstrating modulation of the gut microbiome with a probiotic in mRCC. Probiotic supplementation successfully increased the Bifidobacterium spp. levels. Analysis of longitudinal stool specimens identified an association between B. intestinihominis, A. muciniphila, and clinical benefit with therapy. Trial Registration: NCT02944617.

Cancer medicine. 2020 Nov 01 [Epub ahead of print]

Nazli Dizman, JoAnn Hsu, Paulo G Bergerot, John D Gillece, Megan Folkerts, Lauren Reining, Jeffrey Trent, Sarah K Highlander, Sumanta K Pal

Department of Medical Oncology and Experimental Therapeutics, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Duarte, CA, USA., Pathogen and Microbiome Division, Translational Genomics Research Institute North, Flagstaff, AZ, USA., Translational Genomics Research Institute, Phoenix, AZ, USA.