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Sensible diet helps in breast cancer survival

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/27/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Consuming fewer calories aids in radiotherapy for breast cancer patients

A sensible diet is always good for health. Doctors now say that breast cancer patients eating a third fewer calories aids in their recovery. Dieting also assists in reducing the risk of the cancer spreading to other organs.

'That's why it's important to look at metabolism when treating women with cancer,' study leader Dr. Nicole Simone, from the department of Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, says.

"That's why it's important to look at metabolism when treating women with cancer," study leader Dr. Nicole Simone, from the department of Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, says.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
5/27/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Breast cancer, calories, triple threat breast cancer


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Scientists now believe that radiotherapy used to treat tumors would be more effective if women were eating a third less than usual. According to a new study, a low calorie diet appeared to prevent the spread of triple negative breast cancer, a particularly aggressive form of the disease.

Triple negative breast cancer affects around a fifth of all women with breast cancer, about 10,000 new cases a year - and is more common in the under-40s.

Starvation never takes a vacation --

Triple negative breast cancer spreads very quickly, with tumors often returning after treatment.

A current theory is that dieting may decrease the chance of cancer spreading by strengthening the tissue surrounding the tumor.

Many breast cancer patients are treated with hormonal therapy to block tumor growth and steroids to counteract the side effects of chemotherapy.

Both of these treatments however, can alter the metabolism - which in turn, can trigger weight gain, with the average woman gaining 10 pounds in the first year of treatment.

Previous studies have shown that being overweight makes breast cancer treatment less effective, and those who gain weight during treatment have worse cancer outcomes.

"That's why it's important to look at metabolism when treating women with cancer," study leader Dr. Nicole Simone, from the department of Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, says.

Research involved feeding one group of mice a third less than another group.

"We found that the diet turned on a program that protected mice from metastatic disease," Dr. Simone explained.

The study found that in the dieting mice, cancer cells decreased their production of microRNAs 17 and 20 (miR 17/20).
 
These are molecules that play a vital role in influencing the pathways responsible for many disease processes. In triple negative cancers that spread, this group of microRNAs is often increased.

Dr Simone has previously discovered that calorie restriction boosts the effectiveness of radiation therapy.

"Calorie restriction promotes epigenetic changes in the breast tissue that keep the extracellular matrix strong," Simone adds.

"A strong matrix creates a sort of cage around the tumor, making it more difficult for cancer cells to escape and spread to new sites in the body."

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