Targeting Cancer with Diet

Sketch of a brain as a blueprint

An international research team led by Boston College professor, Thomas Seyfried, is targeting and fighting a deadly brain cancer using a drug and diet pairing.

Professor Thomas Seyfried

The international team combined a calorie-restricted diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates with a tumor-inhibiting antibiotic and found the combination destroys cancer stem cells and mesenchymal cells, the two major cells found in glioblastoma, a fast-moving brain cancer that resists traditional treatment protocols.

The ketogenic diet and the antibiotic 6-diazo-5-oxo-L-norleucine—first characterized in 1956 and referred to as DON—offer a non-toxic therapeutic strategy that could be used to manage the deadly brain cancer, said Boston College Professor of Biology Thomas N. Seyfried, a lead author of the paper with Boston College Senior Research Scientist Purna Mukherjee.

The researchers, probing a treatment modeled on evidence that glioblastoma is primarily a mitochondrial metabolic disease driven by fermentation, discovered the combination was able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier that shields the brain from both injury and interventions, they wrote in the article, titled “Therapeutic benefit of combining calorie-restricted ketogenic diet and glutamine targeting in late-stage experimental glioblastoma.”

Contact us to learn how these strategies, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, can be incorporated into your cancer protocol.