Reducing Your Consumption Of These Foods Could Help Fight Breast Cancer

Faith Castro
February 8, 2018

University of Cambridge academic Gregory Hannon conducted tests involving laboratory mice alongside a team of global cancer researchers and found that lowering the consumption of asparagine stopped the spread of triple-negative breast cancer, reports.

Olaparib was made available on the NHS for ovarian cancer two years ago after scientists showed it increased survival by 11 months.

For this study, the team conducted their animal study at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute on mice with an aggressive form of triple-negative breast cancer. Foods that contain high amounts of asparagines include poultry meat and eggs, dairy, whey, beef, fish, sea foods.

It means breast cancer patients may be advised to try an extreme diet of certain fruit and vegetables - or asparagine-lowering drugs - on top of traditional treatments in an effort to prevent the disease from metastasizing.

A tumor must grow through a rather complex process to become deadly and metastasized.

Asparagine is an amino acid - the building blocks that cells use to make proteins.

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"This finding adds vital information to our understanding of how we can stop cancer spreading - the main reason patients die from their disease".

When the availability of asparagine was reduced, we saw little impact on the primary tumour in the breast, but tumour cells had reduced capacity for metastases (spread) in other parts of the body, the study's lead author, Professor Greg Hannon, said.

An early trial in which healthy patients consume a low-asparagine diet is now under consideration.

Experts in the field including Baroness Delyth Morgan, the chief executive at Breast Cancer Now have added that this study is still preliminary and should not prompt breast cancer patients to go on drastic diets without medical advice.

Dr George Poulogiannis, Dr Michel Wagner and PhD student Marc Olivier Turgeon worked on the research that took place at the ICR. They found men and women with a mutated BRCA gene could be treated by the new drugs.

"These exciting findings provide the foundation for research into an entirely new type of cancer treatment that targets the metabolism of tumour cells to control their growth and spread". This drug is being used routinely to treat acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. They do know that not all cancer patients would benefit from this treatment. Professor Hannon said that their studies show that some cancers are "addicted" to some amino acids or parts of our diets specifically.

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