National Cancer Research Center
Diet influences the incidence, growth, and development of cancer to the extent that one-third of the most common cancers can be cured. prevent, at least in part, through changes in diet. Indeed, preclinical studies using food as a cure for cancer showed promising results. However, these results have not yet reached the clinic.
Growth Factors, Nutrients and Cancer Group of the Spanish National Center for Cancer Research (CNIO), led by Nabil Juderpublish now Molecular Medicine Trends a review of the use of diet in cancer treatment, with Carlos Martinez-Garay as the first author. In it, they advocate the importance of considering diet in treatment.
Juder explains: “Diets can directly affect cancer metabolism, deprive the tumor of the nutrients it needsor they may interfere with other key elements of cancer survival and development, such as growth signaling, oxidative stress, or patient immunity.”
According to the authors, one of the reasons why these dietary therapies are not yet used in cancer patients is that the clinical studies conducted so far are limited. For example, many of these trials group patients with highly heterogeneous tumor profiles. There are also no strict standards for the use of diets as a treatment.
calorie restriction, ketogenic diet And intermittent fasting
Current work looks at possible therapeutic nutritional interventions for cancer and steps that are missing to be considered standard treatment. Through this review, the authors hope to contribute to the development of new clinical trials and translational research in this area.
The work focuses on calorie restriction, ketogenic diet And intermittent fasting, analyzing how they can influence the appearance and development of tumors. After reviewing recent and ongoing preclinical studies and clinical trials of these diets, he offers new insights into their physiological rationale.
The authors provide an in-depth review of what is known about nutrient metabolism and its relationship to tumor development and progression. Evidence suggests that the growth of some cancers may be highly dependent on certain amino acids and that avoid foods rich in these amino acids could limit tumor growth.
Obesity and the microbiome
In addition, many of the pathways associated with tumor proliferation are related to hormones that are sensitive to certain nutrients. This may explain relationship between obesity and cancerby amplifying signaling estrogens (hormones) produced by adipose tissue (fat).
The researchers also analyzed publications in which gut flora linked to cancer. The gut flora or microbiome comprises the population of microbes present in the intestinal tract and is one of the main ones responsible for the interaction between what a person eats and their health.
“Many of the oncogenic effects attributed to the gut microbiome,” explains Carlos Martínez-Garay, “are associated with inflammation of the digestive tract, and, in fact, the presence of certain bacterial populations is associated with chronic inflammation associated with gastrointestinal cancer, such as gallbladder, bile ducts and stomach“.
Interaction with the immune system
One of the main factors responsible for tumor growth and whether the therapy chosen to fight each cancer is successful or not is the interaction between tumor cells and the patient’s immunity, in which case there is also a relationship with diet. Most of our immune cells are found in the gut as protective barrier against the entry of toxic compounds or pathogens into the body.
“Certain components of the diet can cause important responses in the immune system,” Martinez-Garay says, “and this can cause dysfunction in our defense it makes us more vulnerable to tumor formation.”
Precise nutrition for every patient
The authors point out the need to develop precise nutrition, a novel approach that proposes the use of targeted dietary regimens for the treatment of specific tumors based on tumor and patient metabolism. The current ability to deeply analyze tumors and classify them based on their molecular profile has enabled significant progress in the effectiveness of methods to combat them.
As Nabil Juder explains: “This could also be applied to nutrition if clinical evidence, microbiome research, molecular diagnostics, nutrigenomics and metabolomics are combined to develop specific dietary regimens aimed at treating cancer patients on an individual basis. The preclinical studies and clinical trials we reviewed show powerful effects of dietary interventions, leading us to believe that a new era in cancer therapy“.