CSN Login
Members Online: 6

You are here

Pten gene mutation article-really interesting

MAbound
Posts: 829
Joined: Jun 2016

As you can see i've been reading the NYtimes this am and came across another really thought provoking article to share.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/17/health/gene-mutation-cancer.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Health

What caught my attention is how impossible it may be to eat enough of our cruciferous vegetables under normal circumstances, much less when we're told to eat less fiber during treatment or when we're dealing with diarrhea. This gene mutation may be rarely inherited, but it is spontaneously mutated in many tumors. I don't quite know if that means we still have this after treatment or not, but it certainly has me looking into adding this to my supplement regime and you all know how cautious I am about doing that, but if you can't get enough from a food source....

Here's a link that tells more about the i3c (Indole-3-Carbinol) supplement:

https://www.rxlist.com/indole-3-carbinol/supplements.htm

Anybody out there get this recommended to them and is taking it? Thoughts??

 

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1504
Joined: Jun 2015

Hey MA, I got an error message that said I already reached my free article limit.  Just wanted to let you know.

Thanks for all of the support and information that you continue to provide.

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

MAbound
Posts: 829
Joined: Jun 2016

Clear your cookie cache and you should be able to read a few more articles.

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 2544
Joined: Mar 2013

A Rare Genetic Mutation Leads to Cancer. The Fix May Already Be in the Drugstore.

A common dietary supplement may help overcome mutations in the Pten gene. Should patients take it?

 
Kelley Oliver Douglass, left, with her daughter Maryn. Ms. Douglass has a genetic mutation that can cause a range of cancers. A new study suggests that indole-3-carbinol, commonly sold as a supplement, may help restore the gene’s activity.CreditTodd Anderson for The New York Times

 
 
 

Image

Kelley Oliver Douglass, left, with her daughter Maryn. Ms. Douglass has a genetic mutation that can cause a range of cancers. A new study suggests that indole-3-carbinol, commonly sold as a supplement, may help restore the gene’s activity.CreditCreditTodd Anderson for The New York Times

  • May 17, 2019
  •  

When Kelley Oliver Douglass got breast cancer, a genetic counselor posed an odd question: Do you and your children have trouble finding hats that fit?

They did, and that gave the counselor a clue to the source of the cancer: a mutation in a gene called Pten.

In addition to increasing head circumference, this rare mutation markedly raises the risk for several cancers, including prostate and breast cancer (the lifetime risk in carriers is 85 percent), as well as autism and schizophrenia in some individuals.

Ms. Douglass, 51, of Mount Dora, Fla., and her children carry a Pten mutation. Now, researchers have stumbled on a way to counter it — and the treatment may be as close as the local drugstore.

ADVERTISEMENT

"In a study published on Thursday in the journal Science, researchers found evidence that a compound called indole-3-carbino (i3c) blocks an enzyme that inhibits the activity of Pten. With the gene more active, patients with the mutation may be better protected against cancer. They could get more i3c simply by eating brussels sprouts, broccoli or other cruciferous vegetables. But to get enough, they'd have to eat a lot: six pounds of brussels sprouts a day--raw.

Yet i3c also is widely available as a dietary supplement, and experts are debating whether to embark on a clinical trial with it.

The new study was done only in mice and in human cancer cells grown in Petri dishes. The findings only apply to Pten gene activity--there is little evidence for most of the other wild claims made for i3c by supplement makers.

Inherited Pten mutations are rare, striking one in 200,000. If the research holds up, however, it could be important to larger numbers of cancer patients. The mutation is not just inherited; the Pten gene is spontaneously mutated in many tumors. When that happens, the patient's prognosis is poor." 

ADVERTISEMENT

Pten activity is somewhat impaired in the vast majority of human cancers. A drug that reactivates the gene could help curb cancer growth.

Dr. Mustafa Sahin, an expert on the Pten gene at Boston Children’s Hospital, called the new research a “tour de force study.” The result is “a paradigm shift in the field and very exciting in terms of its therapeutic implications,” Dr. Sahin, who was not involved in the research, wrote in an email.

Dr. Pier Paolo Pandolfi, senior author of the paper and director of the cancer center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, has spent years trying to find a way to restore Pten activity.

The gene governs production of an enzyme that stops cells from dividing too quickly, reducing the chances that cancers will form. With reduced activity in Pten, cells grow uncontrollably.

Pten mutations do not completely halt the gene’s functions. Instead, the mutations tamp down the gene’s activity, so cells make less of the enzyme needed for orderly growth.

But one of the hardest things for researchers to do is to find a way to increase, rather than turn off, a gene’s activity. Eventually, Dr. Pandolfi and his colleagues learned enough about the Pten system to reason that i3c might do the trick.

“We got lucky, or smart,” he said.

Dr. Pandolfi and his colleagues tested their treatment on human prostate cancer cells and in mice bred to develop prostate cancer. It worked: In the cells and in mice, i3c treatment resulted in fewer cancers, and those that arose were small and less deadly.

Sign Up for NYT Parenting

 

 

ADVERTISEMENT

The findings, while intriguing, raise a difficult question for people with Pten mutations.

Should they run to the drugstore and buy i3c, hoping it will lower their cancer risk? Should cancer patients who have developed Pten mutations do so?

Or should everyone wait for rigorous clinical trials with a pharmaceutical-grade version of i3c?

Dr. Pandolfi has posed those questions to several patient advocacy groups. All agreed that a clinical trial is necessary.

But some urged waiting for a drug company to make a more potent compound. If a trial with a supplement fails, no one will want to try again, some patients worry.

Others want to go ahead immediately with a trial using an i3c compound made so its purity and potency are assured.

Kristin Anthony, president and chief executive of Pten Foundation, has the gene mutation and so does her 16-year-old daughter. Wary of taking a drugstore supplement and hoping for the best, she is urging that experts begin a clinical trial now with a pure form of i3c.

If the results are at all promising, she hopes a drug company might develop and test a more potent form.

For her part, Ms. Douglass is doing all she can to protect herself and her children from cancer. She had her unaffected breast removed prophylactically and also had a prophylactic hysterectomy.

ADVERTISEMENT

A CT scan found an early-stage kidney cancer, so she had part of her kidney removed. She has frequent colonoscopies to check for colon cancer and skin exams to look for melanoma.

Her 20-year-old daughter will soon be having mammograms, as is recommended for young women with inherited Pten mutations.

“A clinical trial could literally change my children’s lives,” Ms. Douglass said. “I would totally enter a clinical trial.”

In the meantime, she said, “I will eat more broccoli.”

 

Gina Kolata writes about science and medicine. She has twice been a Pulitzer Prize finalist and is the author of six books, including “Mercies in Disguise: A Story of Hope, a Family's Genetic Destiny, and The Science That Saved Them.”

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1504
Joined: Jun 2015

Thanks NoTime!

MAbound
Posts: 829
Joined: Jun 2016

After the 1st ADVERTISEMENT it should read:

"In a study published on Thursday in the journal Science, researchers found evidence that a compound called indole-3-carbino (i3c) blocks an enzyme that inhibits the activity of Pten. With the gene more active, patients with the mutation may be better protected against cancer. They could get more i3c simply by eating brussels sprouts, broccoli or other cruciferous vegetables. But to get enough, they'd have to eat a lot: six pounds of brussels sprouts a day--raw.

Yet i3c also is widely available as a dietary supplement, and experts are debating whether to embark on a clinical trial with it.

The new study was done only in mice and in human cancer cells grown in Petri dishes. The findings only apply to Pten gene activity--there is little evidence for most of the other wild claims made for i3c by supplement makers.

Inherited Pten mutations are rare, striking one in 200,000. If the research holds up, however, it could be important to larger numbers of cancer patients. The mutation is not just inherited; the Pten gene is spontaneously mutated in many tumors. When that happens, the patient's prognosis is poor." 

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 2544
Joined: Mar 2013

Thank you for verifying.  I also updated the post to include these paragraphs  

MAbound
Posts: 829
Joined: Jun 2016
cmb's picture
cmb
Posts: 343
Joined: Jan 2018

While nothing beats my love of tomatoes, I do eat Brussels sprouts and broccoli quite often, although the consumption quantities that seem to be required to make a difference for cancer prevention are definitely daunting!

I don't take supplements – not because I doubt certain supplements' effectiveness for some people – it's just that I haven't had the motivation to research what could work for me. Of course I may regret that in the future! But for now I'll watch for more studies on I3C.

MAbound
Posts: 829
Joined: Jun 2016

I'm kind of having a crazy busy day, but trying to find out more about this. It sounds like getting this from food depends on stomach acid levels and so it's impacted by some of the same things that impact B12 levels: age, taking anticids, and taking Metformin. That said, I'm also finding some cautionary info about how this interacts with the body's hormone levels and can have both anti-and pro- cancer effects, particularyly for hormone driven cancers. It's sounds promising, but for taking it in concentrated forms there seems to be agreement that more research is definitely called for to understand its pros and cons better and to determine appropriate dosing. I'm putting this into the "keep an eye on" file.

Forherself's picture
Forherself
Posts: 160
Joined: Jan 2019

And eating cabbage, brocolli or Brussel sprouts several times a week is a great idea.  My husband loves Brussel sprouts.

 

Tamlen's picture
Tamlen
Posts: 192
Joined: Jan 2018

I met with a naturopathic oncologist before starting chemo to discuss ways to support my health during the rigors of chemo. One of the supplements he wanted me to take was Indole-3-Carbinol, saying that he was seeing evidence that it can be useful in the chemo fight. He said I could happily eat lots of broccoli (which I love), but that I couldn't eat enough of it to help, which the article also points out. The naturopath recommended Pure Encaspulations brand indole-3-carbinol.

I didn't know it at the time, but it turns out I do have the Pten mutation; my Foundation One report came back with that mutation being one of four in my tumor's makeup. What I don't know is whether mine was inherited (better prognosis, according to NYT article) or a spontaneous mutation ("poor prognosis").

I don't take much in the way of vitamins and supplements because when I read the science, there are not a lot of them that hold up to scrutiny and when you dig deep, some of them are contraindicated for cancers like ours, as MAbound points out (my classic example is curcumin, a no-no during chemo with Taxol). I never took the indole-3-carbinol for this reason, but now I'm going to raise the study, along with MAbound's hormone note, with my gyn onc when I see her next week.

Thanks for sharing this with us!

MAbound
Posts: 829
Joined: Jun 2016

This from Consumerlab.com today. (I think the hormone concern I read about elsewhere may be potential for more breast cancer tumors)

I3C 
As discussed in our Indole-3-Carbinol article, some studies in animals indicate that I3C may help reduce the risk of estrogen-sensitive cancers, and a study in women with cervical dysplasia found 200 mg to 400 mg of I3C daily improved the rate at which the cervix spontaneously returned to normal. In addition, a preliminary study found that adding 400 mg of I3C daily to standard therapy for ovarian cancer (surgery and chemotherapy) resulted in better outcomes than standard therapy alone. However, in an experimental model of breast cancer in rats, I3C treatment resulted in more tumors than when it was not given, suggesting that I3C may have the potential to increase cancer risk in some situations. 

Laboratory research has shown that I3C can inhibit an enzyme that deactivates a tumor-suppressive protein called PTEN, and applying I3C to prostate tumor cells suppressed their growth (Lee, Science 2019). Consequently, I3C is being considered as a treatment for people with a rare genetic mutation affecting PTEN that predisposes them to higher rates of cancers; however, this has yet to be tested clinically, so it is too early to say if it will work. 

Although short-term studies with I3C indicate that doses as high as 800 mg daily are safe, longer-term and larger studies are needed to assess its benefits and risks. It should not be given to women who are pregnant or people already diagnosed with cancer, as explained in the Safety section of our Indole-3-Carbinol article. 

Subscribe to Comments for "Pten gene mutation article-really interesting"