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Could a simple diet change make cancer therapies more effective, thereby helping people fight cancer and extend their lives? The evidence seems to suggest that it might.

Tune in to discover:

  • Whether the ketogenic diet can slow DNA repair in cancer cells, and/or increase the anti-tumor immune response
  • What might be different about cancer cells that are resistant to cancer therapies versus those that are killed by cancer therapies
  • How the ketogenic diet seems to reduce the migration and invasion of cancer cells, and which model shows this the best

Adrienne Scheck is Senior Research Scientist at the Institute of Molecular Medicine at Phoenix Children’s Research Institute, and she’s studying how the ketogenic diet impacts brain tumor therapies, namely radiation and chemotherapy.

Past studies have found that the ketogenic diet makes these therapies more effective, and that even when used alone, seems to reduce tumor cell growth. Based on experiments using mouse models and cells in culture, normal cells are not affected by the ketogenic diet in the same way that cancer cells are affected, meaning that normal cells aren’t at risk of being damaged or killed.

Why is this the case? The original thought was that this is because the ketogenic diet reduces the intake of glucose, therefore reducing the amount of “food” that cancer cells thrive off of. However, Scheck and many other researchers are learning that the ketogenic diet affects nearly every hallmark of cancer that exists.

Scheck and her team are trying to determine what is different about cancer cells that show resistance to cancer therapies, and cancer cells that are killed by cancer therapies.

In the process of discussing this work, Scheck talks about the heterogeneity of tumors, the challenges of studying and finding effective chemotherapies for glioblastoma, what makes brain tumors particularly dangerous, how normal brain cells versus cancer cells respond to the ketogenic diet, how individuals differ in terms of reaching a state of ketosis, the near-future role and benefit of metabologenomics in the cancer arena, and much more.

Tune in for all the details.

Episode also available on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/30PvU9C

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