Carolyn Dunbar | ALES Graduate Seminar

Date(s) - 31/08/2022
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
5-112 Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Research Innovation (LKS) University of Alberta Edmonton, Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Research Innovation, 7-126, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E1, Edmonton

A graduate exam seminar is a presentation of the student’s final research project for their degree.
This is an ALES MSc Course-based Seminar by Carolyn Dunbar. This seminar is open to the general public to attend.

Title: The Beneficial Role of DHA Supplementation on Select Markers of Immune Function in Women Undergoing Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer

MSc with Dr. Catherine Field.

Seminar Abstract:

The immune system plays an important role in breast cancer, where anticancer treatment works to eliminate the tumor and aid in restoring immune homeostasis. Women that undergo neoadjuvant chemotherapy, not all achieve complete clearance of invasive cancerous cells. However, it has been identified that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may provide beneficial results during chemotherapy treatment. In the ongoing clinical trial of DHA for Women with Breast Cancer in the Neoadjuvant Setting (DHA WIN), one objective is to better understand the immunological changes occurring over treatment. In this presentation we will introduce a select subset of systemic immune markers (T lymphocytes and cytokines) that are important for breast cancer development and elimination. Specifically, the main objective was to assess alterations in T regulatory cells during chemotherapy in women with or without DHA supplementation. Methods include the use of immunophenotyping via flow cytometry for immune cell identification in whole blood and sandwich immunoassays for measurement of plasma cytokines. Results indicate that identifiable changes are occurring within immune cell phenotypes and plasma cytokines amongst all patients over the course of treatment that influence anti-tumor activity. In addition, significant differences within systemic immune markers were also found between women with high and low plasma DHA, suggesting that plasma DHA may impact anti-tumor activity during chemotherapy treatment.

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