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Glucose restriction to starve cancer - an update

peterz54's picture
peterz54
Posts: 231
Joined: Feb 2012

when my wife Patricia was ill I had learned of evidence which strongly suggested that dramatic reductiion in glucose levels could starve cancer cells which rely more heavily on glucose than most normal cells (which is why your cancer lights up on a PET scan - the  radiaoctive glucose which you take is taken up preferentially by the tumors).  In the glucose starved state the cancer cells also seemed more succeptable to chemo.  At the time, it appeared that the only way to do this was to fast for several days prior to treatment.   Last I heard this technique was moving towards clinical trials.  Dr Valter Longo discusses the potential of fasting in this short interview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGafhm1cuSI

a July 18th edit:   Here is a fairly detailed 2013 lecture by Dr Longo.   The part most relavent to cancer starts at 23 minutes in.   He also mentions several planned clinical trials which combine a form of fasting using very low calorie foods for 3 to 4 days to assess the effect on various cancers.   

http://fasten.tv/en/vortraege/longo

 

Since then I have become aware of the work of Thomas Seyfried, a professor of biology at Boston College, and a researcher who has done a lot of work to unravel the glucose connection to cancer.  His work is beginning to be put to the test.   Instead of fasting though, which is difficult to some patients, he advocates a ketogenic diet, which is very low in quality carbs, modest in protein, and high in quality fats.  Doing this in a low calorie way, in his opinion, makes sense as most people would find it difficult to fast completely for several days each chemo cycle, or, as was the case with my wife, simply cannot do without nutrition for that long.

Now, I've hear of the work of Dr  D'Agostino who's research uncovered what appears to be an enhancement to Dr Seyfried's approach, and that is the use of hyperbaric oxygen.  Here's a short video in which Dr D'Agostino walks through the basics of this.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fM9o72ykww

Here is a presentation by Dr Seyfried for those who want a technical explanation.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBjnWfT8HbQ 

More on Dr Seyfried   http://www.bc.edu/content/bc/schools/cas/biology/facadmin/seyfried.html

peter

 

 

 

        

 

Lisa2012's picture
Lisa2012
Posts: 142
Joined: Feb 2014

Peter thank you for posting this.   The topic is of interest.  I am diabetic so sugar is an enemy in more ways than one.  

Lisa

gfpiv
Posts: 50
Joined: Apr 2010

My two cents:  Based on all I have read and learned, the sugar/glucose connection to cancer is simply based upon controlling blood glucose spikes in the blood, which result in the body releasing insulin to control these spikes.  Insulin contains IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor), which causes increased growth in cells in the body, both good (normal) and bad (cancerous).  

IMO it's not about doing away with all sugars entirely, it's about controlling blood glucose spikes.  Among other things, this can be done by adding fiber, healthy fats and protein (which all slow digestion), eating more smaller meals, and exercising regularly.  

manwithnoname
Posts: 393
Joined: Jun 2012

Ive talked with Seyfreid and D.Agostino, in principle its a great idea yet both of them seem to be unaware of the Pi3k mutation which makes cancer unresponsive to diet restriction, also the human equivlent of ketogenic diet in mouse models is fasting. Hyperbaric is a great way to target hypoxia and is highly underated IMHO.

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 969
Joined: Oct 2010

Great to see you Tony.  So one might infer 81 mg aspirin + ketogenic diet as a possible improvement for patients with PI3K overexpressed?

(81 mg is 1/4 of standard 325 mg aspirin tablet in the US)

manwithnoname
Posts: 393
Joined: Jun 2012

Google alert brought me here Laughing you are correct about the asprin, however it seems eventually the cells will mutate to run off lactate, phenybutrate can block that if it occurs. Quite a few articles on Pi3k and CRC with asprin.

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3402
Joined: Apr 2010

All the glucose and ketogenic diets is stuff Pete is doing or has done and didn't seem to make any difference.   His CEA is way way higher then mine(his is 44 mine is 8.1) and he is having side effects from the ketogenic diet. 

A lot of hassle for little if any benefits. 

All though a little sugar cut back never hurt anyone, it isn't something I'm going to go crazy over.

Winter Marie

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 777
Joined: May 2012

I have to read up on this.  My curiousity is does sugar spike play a role in recurrence when no cancer is present?  I have a very serious sugar addiction, I've had it since I was a child, kicked it for a few years and then one tootsie roll and it was all over.  Similar to alcohol, the more you have, the more you want.  I am NED and I want to stay that way so beating my addiction has become a priority although I have not researched enough.  My doctor says sugar is not a concern but I'm not sure I agree.   I would hate to flip that one cell that encourages the others to start flipping as well all because of sugar.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 1482
Joined: Jan 2013

My Oncologist also said that sugars are of no concern, but my gut tells me different, and sometimes, those basic instincts are what should be followed.

I could never cut out sugar, but I certainly can cut down. 

I have done a little research over these months since my diagnosis, and again, my gut tells me that I don't need to follow any restricted diet, but use wisdom in all areas. 

Works for me, but may not work for others. 

gfpiv
Posts: 50
Joined: Apr 2010

I'm sure we could all benefit from eating a little healthier; it's probably a given that most of us eat more sugar than we need to.  That said, I haven't heard any evidence that sugar can actually cause cancer to appear in an otherwise healthy person.  But Helen, that's a great question...I have no idea if, or to what extent, insulin/IGF-1 spikes are detrimental for folks that are NED or in remission from cancer but may well have microscopic cancer cells in their body still.  

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 852
Joined: Jun 2013

...out of everything: your own fat, your own muscles, whole wheat, meat, vegetables, everything. If you don't supply it, it will turn whatever into glucose, which is the fuel of every cell in the world. Having said that, we eat way too much carbs.

Laz

manwithnoname
Posts: 393
Joined: Jun 2012

"Preliminary data demonstrate that an insulin-inhibiting diet is safe and feasible in selected patients with advanced cancer. The extent of ketosis, but not calorie deficit or weight loss, correlated with stable disease or partial remission"

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22840388

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 852
Joined: Jun 2013

I think we have to be concerned about the blood sugar spikes, not necessarily the sugar in the cells. Blood sugar spikes induce insulin spikes that contain the IGF-1 that promotes cell growth as one member said it above.

Good to know.

Laz

schnauzerheads's picture
schnauzerheads
Posts: 51
Joined: Jan 2011

...for sharing this... There's never too much information, it's nice to see links like this on the site.

Kevin

peterz54's picture
peterz54
Posts: 231
Joined: Feb 2012

I hope I did not give the impression that I though that glucose control or fasting were magic bullets.  Trials are moving a lot slower than I would prefer, which is usually the case unless it's a drug with multi-billion dollar potential, such as Avastin.    There have been trials that point to a number of lifestyle changes as being beneficial, maybe at least as much as indvidual chemo drugs, these being exercise, a good diet, sleep, and stress control, all of which are vital.  

It's also been shown, in a lung cancer trial I believe, that having a good medical team which addresses symtoms/side effects immediately as they arise also makes a large difference.  

Of course, in all of this is patient participation assuming he or she is well enough or has a loved one who can help guide the process beyond blind obedience to whatever the oncologist directs, which in my experience falls woefully short.     

peter

YoVita's picture
YoVita
Posts: 541
Joined: Mar 2010

You've always posted informative, scientific-based topics and links.  I myself have found the lifestyle change articles to be persuasive (plus what's the harm in trying to live a more healthful life?).  In fact, I recently took early retirement (I'm lucky to be able to do that) so I could focus on health, diet, exercise and decreased stress.  I hope you have found some peace.   

peterz54's picture
peterz54
Posts: 231
Joined: Feb 2012

I asked Dr Tan, of the VA hospital in Pittsburg, about the status of  clinical trial she is to lead involving advanced cancer patients and testing a ketogenic diet.   She said the trial should finish recruiting by the end of this year.

In the VA piece about this she indicates that it is her opinion that sugar, while not causing cancer, feeds the cancer once it develops.   Recommend reading this VA piece about her, her remarks, and the trial.

http://www.pittsburgh.va.gov/features/jocelyn-tan.asp

 

peter

 

manwithnoname
Posts: 393
Joined: Jun 2012

she is one of the pioneers, the tide is slowly turning and hopefully one day oncologists will do nutrition as well as chemicals, still as I pointed out above genetic testing for Pi3k mutation seems essential to see who this will benefit (or not).

We have just done 3 months Hyperbaric, the head doctor wanted ketogenic diet with it, we said absolutley not, sugar was limited though, multiple tumours have shrank against all expectation, just started another 3 months Hyperbaric.

 

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2255
Joined: Oct 2011

very glad to hear that you guys have gotten some positive results.

janderson1964's picture
janderson1964
Posts: 1623
Joined: Oct 2011

That is great news Tony. I am truly happy for your family.

peterz54's picture
peterz54
Posts: 231
Joined: Feb 2012

 

Here's a link to a June 2013 lecture by Dr Valter Longo which includes discussion of the mechanisms by which fasting helps to slow cancer growth and to make cancer cells more susceptable to chemo while strenthening normal cells, resulting in more effective treatment and milder side effects.  He mentions several institutions where clinical trials are planned.

The cancer part of the lecture starte 23 minutes in.

http://fasten.tv/en/vortraege/longo

 

peter

Yolllmbs's picture
Yolllmbs
Posts: 160
Joined: May 2014

I am a type 2 diabetic. My once told me not to worry if my sugars spike to 400 Because of the steroids. I've done everything to try to keep it much lower. i am insulin dependent and had my sugar regulated in the 114-130 levels before the surgery. Between the diet after the resection and the chemotherapy, every small thing raises my sugar. Day 1 to day 7 on each cycle has been tough to wrangle my numbers  I think there is a real correlation between sugar and cancer. It still blows my mind that the folfox 6 regimen is given with glucose. 

peterz54's picture
peterz54
Posts: 231
Joined: Feb 2012

you certainly have an added hurdle.    Neither Dr Longo or Dr Seyfried would recommend doing fasting alone (without medical guidance) for various reasons including accounting for special cases like yours.    Dr Seyfried's approach doesn't really depend on fasting but on food substitution and reducing calories for several day leading into each chemo treatment. 

I know PET scan imaging technology depends on the fact the cancer cells take in glucose much faster than normal cells, except for special cases like brain cells which take up a large  fraction  of glucose.   So putting   chemo in a solution containing glucose seems to make sense as it may help get the chemo into the tumors faster and a higher concentrations, but this is just my speculation.  

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