A ground-breaking study has suggested a new way to fight some types of cancer.
Scientists from the University of Southern California (USC) and the IFOM Cancer Institute in Milan have found that combining a special diet with high doses of vitamin C can slow down tumor growth in colorectal cancer.
This potentially life-saving treatment could serve as an alternative to harsher methods.
A Fresh Approach to Cancer Treatment
Cancer is a challenging disease, and some types are incredibly resistant to treatment. Researchers have been tirelessly searching for more effective and less toxic ways to fight it.
The team at USC and the IFOM Cancer Institute in Milan may have made a significant breakthrough.
They discovered that a fasting-mimicking diet, combined with vitamin C, can delay tumor progression in some cases of colorectal cancer. This approach offers a promising low-toxicity alternative to harsh treatments like chemotherapy.
The Power of Vitamin C and Diet
Past research on the benefits of vitamin C for cancer treatment has had mixed results.
However, recent studies are starting to show that vitamin C might be effective when combined with other treatments, such as chemotherapy.
The USC-IFOM team took this idea a step further. They wanted to see if a diet mimicking the effects of fasting could boost the tumor-fighting power of high-dose vitamin C.
The Experiment and Its Results
The experiment had astounding results. When used alone, both the fasting-mimicking diet and vitamin C had only a modest effect on cancer cell growth.
But when combined, these treatments killed almost all cancerous cells. This drastic impact was mainly seen in cancer cells with a specific mutation in the KRAS gene.
This mutation usually signals a resistance to most cancer treatments and decreases a patient’s chances of survival. However, the fasting-mimicking diet and vitamin C were able to target these resistant cells effectively.
The Role of the KRAS Mutation and Ferritin
The KRAS mutation is present in about a quarter of all human cancers and up to half of all colorectal cancers. This makes it a formidable challenge in cancer treatment.
The study also found that vitamin C, on its own, can trigger KRAS-mutated cells to protect cancer cells by increasing the levels of a protein called ferritin, which binds iron.
However, when the researchers managed to reduce the levels of ferritin, they made the vitamin C more toxic for the cancer cells.
Interestingly, they also found that colorectal cancer patients with high levels of this iron-binding protein have a lower chance of survival.
A Powerful Combo: Fasting-mimicking Diet and Vitamin C
What makes this study unique is the combination of two treatments — a fasting-mimicking diet and vitamin C — which are known for their anti-aging benefits.
The researchers believe that a low-calorie, plant-based diet that makes the body respond as if it were fasting can be a safer and more manageable option for cancer patients.
These findings represent a new hope in the fight against cancer. It’s a step towards safer, more effective treatments for cancer patients, especially those with KRAS mutations.
Further research will undoubtedly explore this promising avenue, and it’s a testament to the scientists’ hard work and dedication.
If you’re interested in more information about cancer treatment, read more about the new strategy for treating advanced prostate cancer and new ways to improve the longevity of cancer survivors.
You might also want to check out the links between certain berries and the prevention of cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
This pioneering study was published in Nature Communications and conducted by the team led by Valter Longo.
If you care about cancer, please read studies that a low-carb diet could increase overall cancer risk, and vitamin D supplements could strongly reduce cancer death.
For more information about health, please see recent studies about how drinking milk affects the risks of heart disease and cancer and results showing higher intake of dairy foods linked to higher prostate cancer risk.
Copyright © 2023 Scientific Diet. All rights reserved.