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

Autism support dog helps Langford boy hold his head high

Family shares story for Autism Awareness Month

Give your immunity a boost for National Immunization Awareness Week

Immunize Canada calls on Canadians to stay up to date with their immunizations

Bear sightings historically rare in Langford: City staff

51 bear complaints or sightings in last year

Families hop over to Easter celebrations at Millstream Village

Annual Easter Eggstravaganza had lineups before 11 a.m.

Parishioners bear the weight of a large wooden cross on Good Friday

Good Friday Passion Procession winds through streets of Victoria

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

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

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Most Read