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Can a diet help with cancer treatment? Studies on mice provide clues



Nutrition plays a key role in the treatment of diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, but new research shows that it can also help with cancer treatment. Intake of an amino acid in red meat and eggs has significantly improved cancer treatment Mice and slowed tumor growth.

said senior researcher Jason Locasale, an adjunct professor at Duke University's School of Medicine.

"This study shows that there are many situations in which a drug does not work on its own, but when combined with the diet, it works, or the radiotherapy does not work well, but if you … with Combining the diet, it works well, "he told AFP.

The study focused on limiting the intake of the amino acid methionine key to a process called one-carbon metabolism that contributes to the growth of cancer cells.

Methionine restriction has been previously associated with anti-aging and weight loss, but its importance for cancer cells suggested that it could also be a promising way to improve cancer treatment.

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1; Starvation of the cancer –

The researchers first tested methionine restriction in healthy mice to confirm that they had the desired effects on metabolism and then tested them in colon and soft tissue sarcoma mice.

They found a low value Chemotherapy dose, which in itself had no effect on colorectal cancer, combined with methionine restriction, resulted in "marked inhibition of tumor growth."

Likewise, the combination of methionine restriction with radiotherapy was reduced in soft tissue sarcoma tumor growth.

"They starve the cancer cells of certain nutrients at a very basic level," explained Locasale.

He warned that the results should not be extrapolated beyond the cancers tested so far and that research was far from being tested on humans.

"This is certainly not a panacea for cancer, this is not a panacea," he said. 19659002]

"It turns out that there are very interesting interactions between the foods we eat, how they change the metabolism … and how these changes affect cell metabolism could tumor growth. "

Independent experts also warned against reading too much into the study.

"Before any conclusions can be drawn about the potential for dietary restriction as an approach to cancer treatment, human studies are needed," said Paul Pharoah, a professor of cancer epidemiology at the University of Cambridge.

– "Really exciting" –

Locasale and his colleagues expanded the research by testing a methionine-restricted diet in six healthy people and found that the effect on human metabolism appeared similar to that in mice.

This suggests that the diet could have a similar effect on certain tumors in humans, though Locasale warned it was far too early to draw definitive conclusions.

And Tom Sanders, emeritus professor of nutrition and dietetics at King's College in London, warned that "there is no evidence in this study that suggests that patients with cancer are on a vegan diet."

Locasale said he hopes to eventually test cancer research, but noted that nutrition research often fights for funding because it suggests treatments that are not easy to market. Nonetheless, the paper adds a series of studies suggesting that nutrition could play an important role in cancer treatment.

A study has shown that one type of chemotherapeutic agent is more effective in combination with a low-sugar, high-protein and high-fat diet. Other cancers appear to be better controlled in combination with low-sugar diets.

"It's a really exciting area right now … where we see nutrition has a tremendous impact on human health," Locasale said. He hopes for a future where doctors can finally advise cancer patients to follow certain diets to support their treatment.

"We are not there yet, but the goal is to get there someday."


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