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A study on mice revealed fatty diets are no good for immunity

Consuming high fat diet may weaken the immunity and its ability against cancer


Key points from article :

High-fat diets are known to increase the risk for many types of cancer.

Found that high-fat diets reduce the amount of CD8+ T cells, as well as their cancer-fighting abilities.

"There is a metabolic tug-of-war between T cells and tumor cells that changes with obesity,” - Arlene Sharpe, co-senior author.

Studied by feeding some groups of mice with high-fat diets and comparing to those of mice eating normal diets.

Tumors grew much faster in the obese mice, but interestingly, that only applied to immunogenic cancers.

When eliminated CD8+ T cells from mice, their diet no longer affected the rate of tumor growth.

New discoveries could help improve cancer immunotherapy.

Researchers found a protein called PHD3 to be significantly lower in cancer cells in obese environments.

When overexpressed the protein, tumors grew more slowly.

Research by Harvard Medical School published in the journal Cell.

Mentioned in this article:

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Arlene Sharpe

Professor of Comparative Pathology; Chair of Department of Immunology at Harvard Medical School


Scientific journal publishing research from many disciplines within the life sciences

Harvard Medical School

Graduate medical school of Harvard University

Topics mentioned on this page:
Cancer, Diet