2023 CRCHUM Award of Excellence: Dr. Bertrand Routy earns the Scientific Contribution of the Year Award

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Bertrand Routy

Dr. Bertrand Routy, a researcher in the cancer research theme and hematologist-oncologist at CHUM, has been awarded the 2023 Award of Excellence in the Scientific Contribution of the Year category for his works published in Nature Medicine.

In the study “Fecal microbiota transplantation plus anti-PD-1 immunotherapy in advanced melanoma: a phase 1 trial”, the scientist reports on the positive effects of fecal microbiota transplantation combined with cancer immunotherapy.

Canada’s first fecal transplant study in oncology, this phase 1 clinical trial of 20 patients with stage 4 melanoma has shown that fecal transplantation in combination with anti-PD1 immunotherapy increased the efficacy of melanoma treatment by 20%.

This is the first study to show that microbiota can modify the response to immunotherapy and that patients responding to treatment have a beneficial change in their microbiome composition.

These very promising results strengthen the status of CRCHUM as a pioneer in the oncology microbiome.

A long-term project This phase 1 study is based on the discoveries of Dr. Routy and his colleagues at the CHUM Microbiota Centre, particularly Meriem Messaoudene, Dr. Arielle Elkrief, Wiam Belkaid, Julie Malo and Dr. Rahima Jamal. Their innovative work has stimulated clinical and fundamental oncology research across Canada.

In the last five years, their work has uncovered the unexpected role of the microbiome in cancer patients treated with immunotherapy, changed medical practice, and opened the way to new therapeutic fields.

Since Dr. Routy’s arrival at CRCHUM in 2018, the study of microbiota has become a principal topic of research in the field of cancer, drawing on, among other things, the expertise of the teams in the cytology platform, animal facility, therapeutic innovations unit and culturomics rooms.

In collaboration with the Canadian Cancer Trial Group, the same team will soon undertake the first randomized pan-Canadian study of 128 melanoma patients treated with immunotherapy.

The official award presentation will take place on May 1, 2024 during the CRCHUM researchers’ retreat.

About the CRCHUM Awards of Excellence in Research

Awarded since 2012, the CRCHUM Awards of Excellence in Research are honorary distinctions recognizing the significant contribution of our researchers to the advancement of health research. Recipients are selected by the Research Centre’s Scientific Committee from our 160 regular researchers.

2023 CRCHUM Award of Excellence: Dr. Bertrand Routy earns the Scientific Contribution of the Year Award