Skip to comments.Using a seaweed sugar to trigger immune responses that suppress melanomas (L-fucose, part of fucoidan)
Posted on 01/25/2023 8:54:44 PM PST by ConservativeMind
Immunotherapies have improved outcomes of many patients with cancer, including melanoma. But these therapies work for only a subset of patients. Numerous studies are looking at improving responses, including research focusing on enhancing tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). TILs are immune cells in tumors that can recognize and attack the cancer cells but often there aren't enough of them or they're unable to harness a strong enough response to durably suppress tumor growth and spread.
Researchers, led by Eric Lau, Ph.D., have identified a relatively natural way to increase the numbers and antitumor activities of TILs. Lau's team demonstrates how L-fucose, a nontoxic dietary plant sugar that is enriched in red and brown seaweeds, can increase TILs, promote antitumor immunity and improve the efficacy of immunotherapy.
The sugar molecule L-fucose, while found in foods, can also be made within our own cells. It is important for immune and developmental processes, and abnormalities with L-fucose synthesis and usage are associated with diseases including cancer.
"Overall levels of L-fucose in melanoma cells decrease and how the cells use L-fucose changes during progression. However, we have found that raising L-fucose levels via dietary supplementation can suppress tumors, markedly increase TILs and enhance the efficacy of some immunotherapies in our animal models. In humans, higher levels of L-fucose in melanomas are associated with less aggressive disease and better responses to therapy," said Lau.
The researchers looked at tumors from three independent groups of patients from three cancer centers to assess whether L-fucose levels and L-fucose-decorated HLA-DRB1 might reflect patient responsiveness to the immunotherapeutic agent anti-PD1. They found that patients who responded well to anti-PD1 therapy tended to have higher levels of both in their tumors, suggesting that these may be useful as potential biomarkers to predict responsiveness to immunotherapy.
(Excerpt) Read more at medicalxpress.com ...
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