Using Diet to Help Treat Cancer

Brain TumorCancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States.  Research investigating lifestyle and diet choices have confirmed that regular exercise,  reduced exposures to environmental toxins/pollutants, saturated dietary fats and stress  can promote health and prevent cancer. But what about using a specialized diet to actually treat cancer?  Recently scientists have discovered that by altering the energy supply  to cancer cells by changing your diet certain types of cancers can be suppressed.

The malignant brain tumor glioblastoma multiforme, or GBM, is generally considered rare but unfortunately is universally fatal within 12 to 18 months after diagnosis with standard therapy and 3 to 12 months without therapy. Surgery is usually attempted to debulk the tumor and make the tissue diagnosis. Because GBM’s are otherwise mostly refractory to standard cancer treatment therapies, including chemotherapy, radiation and anti-edema medications such as glucocorticoid (steroids) medications, alternative protocols are often considered and used for treatment of this type of cancer.

A diet which has been used with success for decades to treat refractory seizures in children called the Ketogenic Diet (KD) has shown promising results to reduce circulating levels of glucose in an attempt to “starve” these aggressive brain tumor cells.  This area of research to use dietary interventions to help treat brain tumors is a passion for Dr Maroon who has seen too many patients suffer from this terrible disease. Please see the below a presentation done by Dr Maroon on the potential use to the KD and also a scientific article he wrote.

KD for GBM Joseph Maroon 2013


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