Diet, radiation impact brain tumors
Doctors and patients alike are searching for ways to make cancer treatments more effective. Radiation therapy has been used for decades to treat brain tumors, and researchers are now adding a dietary element that could enhance its effects.
The ketogenic diet involves consuming high fat, low carbohydrate foods with minimal protein intake. This forces the body to use fat instead of sugar for energy. The diet has been used since the 1920s to treat epilepsy and usually involved a 4:1 ratio of fat to carbohydrate plus protein.
The tumor research, from the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, has successfully treated mice with malignant gliomas, a deadly type of brain tumor, with the combination therapy. When tested, mice on the ketogenic diet survived longer than the mice on a standard diet, the vast majority of which survived with no sign of tumor recurrence even when back on a regular diet.