Dietary polysaccharides as anti-cancer immunoadjuvants

Lead Research Organisation: Institute of Food Research
Department Name: Contracts

Abstract

This study aims to identify potential anti-cancer dietary polysaccharides from natural dietary sources. Orally acquired polysaccharides can boost our body’s immune function, and may be applicable to anti-cancer immunoadjuvant therapy. In several randomised controlled trials, oral intake of a polysaccharide from mushrooms prolonged the post-surgical survival of various cancer patients (e.g. colon and gastric cancers). To further develop more promising oral immunoadjuvants, a wider range of dietary polysaccharides need to be assessed for their immune activating properties. Such anti-cancer polysaccharides will be cost-effective, potentially less toxic, and also will reduce the burden of injection. This study employs a multidisciplinary approach involving immunology and biology of carbohydrates (glycobiology) to (1) assess polysaccharides from natural sources for their immune activation function and (2) elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which the polysaccharide modulates immune function.

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