Date of this Version
MOLECULAR CARCINOGENESIS 54:669–678 (2015)
An important characteristic of cancer is that the disease can overcome the surveillance of the immune system. A possible explanation for this resistance arises from the ability of tumor cells to block the tumoricidal activity of host immune cells such as natural killer (NK) cells by inducing the localized accumulation of regulatory T (Treg) cells. Evidence exists that components in commonly consumed foods including vitamins A, D, and E, water-soluble constituents of mushrooms, polyphenolics in fruits and vegetables, and n-3 fatty acids in fish oil can modulate NK cell activities, Treg cell properties, and the interactions between those two cell types. Thus, it is extremely important for cancer prevention to understand the involvement of dietary components with the early stage dynamics of interactions among these immune cells. This review addresses the potential significance of diet in supporting the function of NK cells, Treg cells, and the balance between those two cell types, which ultimately results in decreased cancer risk. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.