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

Province announces more improvements for Highway 14

$85-million project made possible through federal funding support

Wild Wise Sooke founder leaves post

Lush Cosmetics offers much-needed funding for the group

UVic partners with harm reduction groups to run a drug checking pilot project

The three-year pilot will allow people to test their drugs for fatal ingredients like fentanyl

Public asked to give feedback on proposed protection measures for southern resident orcas

Measures focus on key threats related to contaminants, lack of prey, noise or physical disturbance

Many teens unaware if they’re vaping nicotine or not

Health Canada survey finds many youth are unaware of the risks of using nicotine products

WATCH: Police call Happy Valley shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident

One person in custody, another fled following crash on Kelly Road

Woe, Canada: Bruins down Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7

No Canadian teams left in Stanley Cup playoffs

Should B.C. parents receive money if they make sure their kids are vaccinated?

New survey looks at public opinion around government’s role in forcing immunizations

Music Monday to unite students across Sooke in song

Over 200 students will carol around town on May 6

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

POLL: Do you think the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be rebuilt?

Images of one of the word’s most iconic landmarks were seared into… Continue reading

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Most Read