Scientists find out which diet helps treat cancer

Scientists find out which diet helps treat cancer

According to the results of clinical trials, a diet that simulates fasting enhances the effect of the initial stages of chemotherapy in the treatment of cancer. Study description Posted in the journal Nature Communications.
Medics and nutritionists from ItalyNetherlands And United States conducted a randomized controlled clinical trial of a Phase 2 diet recommended for patients undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy, which is prescribed as a first step, even before surgery, to stop tumor growth.
Diets that mimic fasting (DIG) are low-calorie diets with low protein and amino acid content, designed to trigger metabolic reactions similar to those that occur when starving on water.
Preclinical evidence suggested that short-term fasting and fasting imitation could protect healthy cells from chemotherapy while making cancer cells more vulnerable to treatment.
Laboratory results in mice have shown that short-term fasting protects animals from the toxic effects of chemotherapy and at the same time increases the effectiveness of treatment. However, clinical trials on real patients have not been conducted before.

Researchers led by Judith Kroep from Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands observed 131 patients with HER2-negative molecular subtype II and III breast cancer between February 2014 and January 2018. The group selected cancer patients without complicating diseases, primarily diabetes, and overweight.
Observed for three days before and during neoadjuvant chemotherapy adhered to either fasting, or DIG-diet, or fed as usual (control group). DIG consisted of plant-based soups, liquids and tea.
Although the level of toxicity of chemotherapy used in all three groups was the same, patients in the first two groups had a higher treatment effectiveness. In addition, the scientists noted that they had lower levels of chemotherapy-induced DNA damage in T-lymphocytes. Scientists have not found any side effects from the use of a hungry diet.
The authors conclude that short-term cycles of fasting or DIG are safe and very effective as an additional aid to cancer patients with early stages of breast cancer.
"Starvation deprives multiplying cancer cells of nutrients, reducing their growth factors. As a result, they are more sensitive to therapy, which contributes to their demise," the researchers write in the paper.
In the future, scientists plan to test whether the diet imitating fasting will be effective in other forms of cancer in combination with traditional treatment.

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