To see whether a person’s microbiome impacted how they metabolized medications, Guthrie and her colleagues collected faecal samples from 20 healthy individuals. They measured the compounds produced by microorganisms in the samples as they interacted with all the drug, and handled the samples with irinotecan. The group discovered that 4 of the samples contained high amounts of the poisonous kind of irinotecan, but identified no substantial variations between the species present in the samples.
When the scientists analyzed the proteins manufactured in in the samples, they discovered that these from individuals with large metabolisms contained strains that created -glucuronidases. These individuals also had elevated amounts of proteins that create gastro-intestinal problems and transport sugar into cells, which which implies they’d be more likely to absorb the poisonous compound. The scientists are now preparing to gather samples from individuals with cancer that are using irinotecan, to see whether this is true, claims research leader Libusha Kelly, a micro-biologist in the Albert Einstein School of Medicine.