The human microbiota acts as a diverse source of molecular cues that influence the development and homeostasis of the immune system. Beyond endogenous roles in the human holobiont, host-microbial interactions also alter outcomes for immune-related diseases and treatment regimens. Over the past decade, sequencing analyses of cancer patients have revealed correlations between microbiota composition and the efficacy of cancer immunotherapies such as checkpoint inhibitors. However, very little is known about the exact mechanisms that link specific microbiota with patient responses, limiting our ability to exploit these microbial agents for improved oncology care. Here, we summarize current progress towards a molecular understanding of host-microbial interactions in the context of checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapies. By highlighting the successes of a limited number of studies focused on identifying specific, causal molecules, we underscore how the exploration of specific microbial features such as proteins, enzymes, and metabolites may translate into precise and actionable therapies for personalized patient care in the clinic.