The Atlantic

People V. Cancer: The Microbiome Connection (VIDEO)

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“How does the gut microbiome help with patients’ receptivity to immunotherapy? What key factors influence it and what strategies offer the opportunity to shape it and augment therapeutic response?”

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When Poop Becomes Medicine (VIDEO)

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"Fecal transplants—where doctors try to cure sick people of various ills by giving them the stools of healthy donors—have been used since at least fourth-century China, according to texts that make reference to 'yellow soup.' The unusual treatment has been rediscovered many times since, but it’s finally starting to enter the medical mainstream. Partly, that’s because of a surge of interest in the microbiome—the trillions of microbes that share our bodies. Partly, it’s because many well-conducted studies have shown that fecal transplants are incredibly effective at treating Clostridium difficile—a nasty, hardy bacterium that causes severe, recurring, and potentially fatal bouts of diarrhea."

See the video here.

When feces is the best medicine

"[FMT] is about as close to a miracle cure as medicine offers. Yet access to fecal transplants has proven challenging. As recently as 2013, Amy Barto, a gastroenterologist at the Lahey Clinic in Massachusetts, said her patients had to find their own stool donors, whom the clinic would screen individually. On the day of the procedure, the donor had to provide a fresh stool sample, which Barto said she personally mixed using a blender from Target and transplanted into the patient’s colon. 'It was embarrassing and stressful for patients to find their own donors, and expensive to have them screened,' she said. 'I did about 100 procedures with the blender, and it was not efficient.'

'When OpenBiome was established, my quality of life went through the roof,' Barto said. More importantly, access to the procedure 'just blossomed.' More doctors were willing to get involved and patients were able to able to get the procedure more quickly, with fewer barriers and less expense."