Title: Impact of dietary intervention on tumor immunity

Project Coordinator:
Filippo DE BRAUD (Italy) Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Department of Medical Oncology, Milano

Project Partners:
Daniel OLIVE (France) Institute National de la Santé et de la recherche médicale, Tumor Immunology, Marseille 
Hans WILDIERS (Belgium) University Hospital, Leuven, General Medical Oncology, Leuven
Yu-Chieh LIAO (Taiwan) National Health Research Institutes, Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Zhunan Town, Miaoli
Mario FRAGA (Spain) Universidad de Oviedo, Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology Research Center - Technological Parks of Asturias, Llanera, Asturias
Barbara SELIGER (Germany) Martin Luther University, Institute of Medical Immunology, Halle

Project Abstract:
Disease progression can be controlled in cancer patients through the administration of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). But, ICIs mainly show efficacy in subsets of patients and treatment costs are very high. Here, we use a dietary intervention to counteract cancer-related immune suppression through interfering with metabolic pathways. DIgesT will enable the exciting possibility of integrating cancer therapy with a dietary approach that is inherently low-risk and non-toxic, will encounter little regulatory barriers and is highly cost-effective.
Given the effects of metabolic pathways on immune responses, we hypothesize that a fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) diet will reduce proinflammatory and immunosuppressive responses, that are influenced by glucose and lipid metabolism, to restore effective antitumor immunity.

DIgesT aims to:
-Determine if FMD modulates immune cell profiles in cancer patients and tilts the balance from immunosuppressive to antitumor immune responses
-Evaluate in mouse models if FMD improves antitumor immune response, alone or combined with ICIs
-Clarify the molecular mechanisms underlying FMD-induced immune modifications
-Analyze the effect of FMD on gut microbiota, as a possible link to systemic immune modulation

Two parallel approaches will be used: 1) Investigating FMD immune effects on tumour immunity in clinical setting (breast cancer and melanoma) and 2) Investigating FMD immune effects on tumour immununity in murine cancer models.

DIgesT results and expected impacts:
•Knowledge on the immune effects of FMD in preclinical and clinical settings
•Preclinical evidence of FMD potentiating effects on immunotherapy (ICIs)
•Improving cancer treatment strategies and survival rates, and quality of life
•Creating networking infrastructures and databases, international sharing of data and knowledge
•Streamlining research priorities and research needs at the EU level and beyond


(Project selected for funding under JTC 2015)