For AML treatment, the link between microbiota composition and the effect of different treatment options, the risk for neutropenic enterocolitis and other infections, and the overall outcome of therapy remain largely unknown. For decades, treatment options have been a matter of controversy with recent data strongly suggesting a negative impact of the use of antibiotics on the resistance against pathogens and cancer immunotherapy responses.
Gut microbiome profiling as a technology will provide the molecular data required to quantitatively assess these links, and help to identify novel biomarkers for adverse treatment effects and to predict the outcomes of therapy. Upon successful implementation, clinical applicability and interoperability of this technology could be validated using samples from independent patient cohorts leading to a growing database of reference profiles that could be used to refine statistical models as the number of analyzed samples increases.
Moreover, the PHRT provides an ideal framework to explore synergies in using microbiome profiles and other –omics data generated by other projects to obtain and analyze a system-wide readout from the same patients. The possibility for integrative multi–omics and/or imaging-based interrogation of clinical samples from the same patient represents an exciting outlook for the future implementation of microbiome profiling as a technology to support personalized medicine.