Therapy based on so-called T cells is quite effective to treat tumors like melanoma, a type of skin-cancer. Despite strong anti-tumor effect, in many patients the cancer re-appears after some time. Our researchers expect that the success of T cell therapy will increase and result in more lasting effects when the therapy is supported by oral intake of beta-glucans or fungal immunomodulatory proteins (FIPs). This multi-disciplinary approach, nutrition to support anti-tumor T cell therapy, represents a new way of moving established therapies forward.
Wageningen Food & Biobased Research and Erasmus MC – medical oncology will research as of April 2016 whether nutritional components such as beta-glucans and FIPs will improve the efficacy of T cell therapy to treat melanoma.
The research consists of laboratory studies where different beta-glucans and FIPs are tested for their stimulatory effect on T cells. After this, the most effective beta-glucans and FIPs will be tested in dedicated melanoma models in combination with T cell therapy. The objective of this project is to identify beta-glucan(s) and/or FIP(s) that will improve the efficacy and long lasting effects of anti-tumor T cell therapy and as such will be given as oral adjuvants to patients undergoing anti-tumor therapy.