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Melanoma Linked to Altered Gut Microbes in Case-Control Study

In a paper appearing in JAMA Dermatology, investigators at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and elsewhere dig into the gut microbial community features found in individuals with early- or late-stage melanoma. Using targeted 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing, the team profiled gut microbiome features found in fecal samples from hundreds of individuals with or without melanoma, including 179 stage I to stage IV patients enrolled between 2015 and 2019 and 49 unaffected controls sampled between the spring of 2021 and early 2022. Along with an overall uptick in Fusobacterium representation in samples from individuals with melanoma, they saw differences in gut microbial community composition, diversity, and function in patients with early- or late-stage melanoma. "The findings of this case-control study suggest that fecal microbiota profiles were significantly different among patients with melanoma and controls and between patients with early-stage and late-stage melanoma," they write, noting that "[p]rospective investigations of the gut microbiome and changes that occur with disease progression may identify future microbial targets for intervention."

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.