Food may influence cancer spread

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There is certainly mounting evidence the food on your dish can alter cancer’s growth and distribute, say Cambridge scientists.

Animal research, published in the journal Character, showed breast tumours struggled without the dietary nutrient asparagine.

It is present in the foodies’ favourite asparagus, along with poultry, seafood and many other foods.

In the future, scientists wish to take advantage of cancer’s “culinary addictions” to enhance treatment.

Asparagine is an amino acid – a foundation of protein – and takes its title from asparagus.


The study, conducted at the Malignancy Research UK Cambridge Institute, happened on mice with an aggressive type of breast cancer.

Usually they would die in a couple of weeks since the tumour spread throughout the body.

But when the rodents were given a low-asparagine diet or even drugs to block asparagine then your tumour struggled to spread.

“It was a actually huge change, [the cancers] were very difficult to find, ” stated Prof Greg Hannon.

Last year, the University associated with Glasgow showed cutting out the proteins serine and glycine slowed the growth of lymphoma plus intestinal cancers.

Prof Hannon told the BBC: “We’re seeing increasing evidence that particular cancers are addicted to specific aspects of our diet.

“In the future, by modifying a person’s diet or by using drugs that will change the way that tumour tissue can access these nutrients hopefully to improve outcomes in therapy. inch


An initial tumour can be rarely deadly. It is when the malignancy spreads throughout the body – or even metastasises – that it can become deadly.

A cancerous cellular must go through huge changes to be able to spread – it must learn how to break off the main tumour, endure in the bloodstream and thrive somewhere else in the body.

It really is this process for which researchers think asparagine is necessary.

Yet fear not asparagus lovers, these types of findings still need to be confirmed that individuals and asparagine is hard to avoid in your deiting anyway.

Over time, scientists think patients would be placed on special drinks that are nutritionally well balanced, but lack asparagine.

Prof Charles Swanton, Malignancy Research UK’s chief clinician, stated: “Interestingly, the drug L-asparaginase can be used to treat acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, that is dependent on asparagine.

“It’s possible that in upcoming, this drug could be repurposed to help deal with breast cancer patients. ”

Further trials are still necessary.

Baroness Delyth Morgan, the main executive at Breast Cancer Now, stated patients should not go on drastic diet plans on the back of this study.

She said: “We do recommend patients totally exclude any kind of specific food group from their diet plan without speaking to their doctors.

“We’d also motivate all patients to follow a healthy plus varied diet. ”

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