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Calendar Review
Insights Into Cancer: Nutrition and Cancer—Wellness and the Immune System
Date: 4/8/2014
Time: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Cost: Free and open to the public
Location: Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center Auditorium, B Level Room B130
757 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, California 90095

SimmsMann CenterOnce a month, the Simms/Mann–UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology presents Insights Into Cancer, a free public lecture series for cancer patients, their families and the community. Each lecture features a leading professional who provides up-to-date information, practical advice and answers to cancer-related questions. 

April 8, 2014
Nutrition and Cancer—Wellness and the Immune System

Within the past few years a new understanding of the value of the microbiome underscores the value of dietary fiber. Prebiotics are found in fiber rich plant foods containing high molecular weight polysaccharides. Prebiotics provide nutrients for the microbes which then provide us with an active immune system that serves us both. This is a new world of Symbiotology or how life forms live synergistically with us. When this ecosystem is out of balance either because we don’t provide the right food (dietary fiber rich beans, vegetables and fruit) or because of damage to the cells such as a result of cancer treatment or broad spectrum antibiotic use then we need to address this.

Research into the microbiota or population of microbes that reside in the gastrointestinal tract using a specific strain of mice that lack the gene ATM has uncovered an important role in protection against genetic instability and DNA damage. These mice (Atm -/-) were protected from developing lymphoma and lived longer when housed in an environment that supported a healthier microbiome. This research opens the door for a deeper understanding of the link between diet, intestinal health and immune associated cancers.

Carolyn Katzin, M.S., C.N.S., Oncology Specialist Simms/Mann – UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology, and Robert Schiestl, Ph.D., Professor Pathology and Environmental Health and Radiation Oncology discuss nutrition and cancer with particular emphasis on how the “microbiome of the gut” may be a key factor in protection against cancer or in the development of cancer. Recent understandings of the microbiome (the healthy bacteria) of the gut appear to play a significant role in immune function and recent research in mice suggests the microbiome plays a role in immune regulated cancer such as lymphoma. While this research is in its early stages it has the potential to provide greater evidence for the value of food as medicine and prevention of cancer. In addition to some of this new science, specific information is presented on nutrition in cancer and ways to enhance health—including food and supplements strategies that protect against damage to cells and enhance well-being before, during and after cancer treatment.

Dr. Schiestl received his Ph.D., in Biology and Genetics from the University of Vienna, Austria, in 1983. He is currently a Professor of Pathology, Environmental Health and Radiation Oncology. Previously, he served as Assistant and Associate Professor in the Department of Cancer Cell Biology at the Harvard School of Public Health. He is Director of the UCLA Center for Environmental Genomics and a current member of the UCLA Cancer Center, UCLA Center of Occupational and Environmental Health, UCLA Interdepartmental Program in Molecular Toxicology (Faculty Advisory Committee), and UCLA ACCESS Graduate Program steering committee. He is also a member of the Planning Committee for the Environmental Mutagen Society meeting as well as Chair and Speak at the Symposium on “Genetic Instability” which will be held on March 11-15, 2003 at Miami Beach, Florida.

Carolyn F. Katzin, M.S., C.N.S., M.N.T., has 25 years of experience working in the field of oncology and nutrition. She received a Master of Science in Public Health in Nutritional Science from UCLA. She has extensive knowledge and experience counseling patients around wellness, nutrition, and physical activity as well as a wonderful understanding of the complex needs of patients with cancer. She has a long history of providing consultative educational sessions with patients on nutrition, supplements and how to improve one’s wellness while getting cancer treatment and beyond. She has also worked with individuals in developing healthy diet and lifestyle for cancer prevention. She is caring and compassionate in her care of patients and their families.

Carolyn Katzin has written two books, The Cancer Nutrition Handbook and The Everything Cancer-Fighting Cookbook. She has been a member of the American Cancer Society National Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer Control Committee and co-Chair of the California Division Board of Directors Nominating and Development Committee.


Insights Into Cancer lectures are held in the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center Auditorium, B Level, Room B130, 757 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095.

UCLA parking is $12 and is wheelchair accessible. Attendees can park in the medical plaza, or take advantage of the valet parking at the front of Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.