Julian Lum is an immunologist who received a $1.08 million grant to study the relation between sugar, new immune cells and cancer (file contributed/ UVic)

UVic researcher gets $1.08 million to study the link between sugar, immune cells and cancer

Julian Lum will lead a study to see how a person’s diet can strengthen their immune cells

A University of Victoria researcher received a $1.08 million grant from the Canadian Institute of Health Research to study the connection between nutrition, immune cells and cancer.

Julian Lum is a UVic immunologist and a scientist the BC Cancer’s Deeley Research Centre. A new study he is leading will look at how new immune cells, known as T cells, and cancer cells each use glucose to grow.

His team will research a new type of immunotherapy that uses a patient’s diet as a way of engineering natural immune cells to fight cancer, a process known as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-therapy.

VIDEO: ‘Team Canada of cancer research’ unveiled where Terry Fox began run

“The cancer and immune cells are constantly in this fight for nutrients,” Lum said. “We are the only academic team in Canada approaching the problem by studying this nutritional arms race to make CAR T-cells more nutritionally fit, thus tipping the balance of power away from the cancer cells and in the favour of immune cells.”

Lum noted that in the past century the number of people diagnosed with cancer has spiked, with a main culprit being a highly processed diet full of sugar and carbohydrates. Changes in diet impact the metabolism and immune system function, which changes how the human body can respond to and fight serious illness like cancer.

ALSO READ: B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

CAR T-cell therapy allows the body’s immune cells to detect and eliminate cancer, and has been effective in treating leukemia and some kinds of lymphoma, but less effective in other kinds of cancer like prostate, breast and ovarian cancer.

Researchers hope that by studying the link between nutrition and immune cell function that CAR T-cells can be better used to treat a wider range of cancers.

vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca


 

vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter
and Instagram

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

VOS transforms the McPherson into a swamp for Shrek The Musical

Victoria Operatic Society’s musical theatre production appeals to all ages

Award-winning Victoria author recalls her former life as a sex trade worker in new memoir

Yasuko Thanh’s new book ‘Mistakes to Run With’ is her first non-fiction publication

Human Rights museum hosts Coast Salish artist’s Witness Blanket

Artwork heads to Winnipeg after five years on the road

BC Ferries sees one-sailing wait at Swartz Bay terminal

The noon ferry is sold-out, while afternoon sailings are over 70 per cent full

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Man’s body found in popular Cowichan Valley hiking area

Police say death not suspicious after discovery in Stoney Hill area overlooking Saltspring Island

Multiple sailing waits as BC Ferries deals with Easter Monday traffic

89 extra sailings had been added to the long weekend schedule

Vancouver Island-based company provides glass alternatives to plastic straws

Enviro Glass Straws now producing more than 60,000 staws each year

Ex-mayor of northern village claims its drivers are overpaying ICBC $1,800 a year

Darcy Repen says data shows Telkwa households are being ripped off for car insurance

Most Read