IFR

Cancer-fighting food products

Anti-cancer polysaccharides from foods

Autumn 2013

£36,111 to the Institute of Food Research, Norwich

Polysaccharides are molecules made up of multiple sugar molecules linked together.  They are found in common food sources, and include chemicals such as starch and cellulose.  Many polysaccharides are known to affect the immune system, and offer a promising target for cost-effective (and possibly less toxic) cancer treatments.

In several trials, cancer patients taking a polysaccharide found in mushrooms showed better survival following surgery.  This grant funds a study to assess the ability of various natural polysaccharides to activate the immune system and to investigate how this activation takes place.  This will produce information that could help with the design and development of new cancer treatments.

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