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Source: Cancer News  May 13, 2020  3 years ago
Cancer News: Study Shows That Fasting And Vitamin C Demonstrates Efficacy To Treat Difficult Cancers
Cancer News: Study Shows That Fasting And Vitamin C Demonstrates Efficacy To Treat Difficult Cancers
Source: Cancer News  May 13, 2020  3 years ago
Cancer News: Medical and oncology researchers from University Of Southern California and the IFOM Cancer Institute in Milan have found that a fasting-mimicking diet could be more effective at treating some types of cancer including colorectal cancers when combined with vitamin C.

In research on animal models, the team found that the combination delayed tumor progression in multiple animal models of colorectal cancer; in some cases, it caused disease regression. The study findings were published in the journal Nature Communications.
Dr  Valter Longo, the study senior author and the director of the USC Longevity Institute at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology and Professor of biological sciences at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences told Thailand Medical News, "For the first time, we have demonstrated how a completely non-toxic intervention can effectively treat an aggressive cancer. We have taken two treatments that are studied extensively as interventions to delay aging a fasting-mimicking diet and vitamin C and combined them as a powerful treatment protocol for cancer."
The medical researchers said that while fasting remains a challenging option for cancer patients, a safer, more feasible option is a low-calorie, plant-based diet that causes cells to respond as if the body were fasting. Their research suggest that a low-toxicity treatment of fasting-mimicking diet plus vitamin C has the potential to replace more toxic treatments.
Previous research on the cancer-fighting potential of vitamin C has been mixed. However, newer studies are beginning to show some efficacy, especially in combination with chemotherapy.
For this research, the team wanted to find out whether a fasting-mimicking diet could enhance the high-dose vitamin C tumor-fighting action by creating an environment that would be unsustainable for cancer cells but still safe for normal cells.
Dr Longo said, "Our first in vitro experiment showed remarkable effects. When used alone, fasting-mimicking diet or vitamin C alone reduced cancer cell growth and caused a minor increase in cancer cell death. But when used together, they had a dramatic effect, killing almost all cancerous cells."
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Dr Longo and his colleagues detected this strong effect only in cancer cells that had a mutation that is regarded as one of the most challenging targets in cancer research. These mutations in the KRAS gene signal the body is resisting most cancer-fighting treatments, and they reduce a patient's survival rate.
Typically, KRAS mutations occur in approximately a quarter of all human cancers and are estimated to occur in up to half of all colorectal cancers.
The research also provided answers about why previo us studies of vitamin C as a potential anticancer therapy showed limited efficacy. By itself, a vitamin C treatment appears to trigger the KRAS-mutated cells to protect cancer cells by increasing levels of ferritin, a protein that binds iron. But by reducing levels of ferritin, the scientists managed to increase vitamin C's toxicity for the cancer cells.
Significantly the researchers also found that colorectal cancer patients with high levels of the iron-binding protein have a lower chance of survival.
Dr Maira Di Tano, a study co-author at the IFOM, FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology in Milan said, "In this study, we observed how fasting-mimicking diet cycles are able to increase the effect of pharmacological doses of vitamin C against KRAS-mutated cancers. This occurs through the regulation of the levels of iron and of the molecular mechanisms involved in oxidative stress. The results particularly pointed to a gene that regulates iron levels: heme-oxygenase-1."
The team's previous studies showed that fasting and a fasting-mimicking diet slow cancer's progression and make chemotherapy more effective in tumor cells, while protecting normal cells from chemotherapy-associated side effects. The combination enhances the immune system's anti-tumor response in breast cancer and melanoma mouse models.
The researchers believe cancer will eventually be treated with low-toxicity drugs in a manner similar to how antibiotics are used to treat infections that kill particular bacteria, but which can be substituted by other drugs if the first is not effective.
To further their research with that goal in mind, the researchers say they needed to first test two hypotheses: that their non-toxic combination interventions would work in mice, and that it would look promising for human clinical trials.
For this new research, they said that they have demonstrated both. At least five clinical trials, including one at University of Southern California, breast cancer and prostate cancer patients, are now investigating the effects of the fasting-mimicking diets in combination with different cancer-fighting drugs.
Perhaps a simple, safe and non-toxic treatment protocol like this combo could really help more cancer patients.
For the latest cancer news, keep logging to Thailand Medical News.
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