We’re committed to providing you with the very best cancer care, and your safety continues to be a top priority. This is just one more way of ensuring your safety and that of our staff. By Matthew Tontonoz Thursday, January 10, A ketogenic diet is one that is very low in carbohydrates and relatively high in fat. Researchers are exploring its role in cancer treatment. The researchers found that this diet, called ketogenic, improved how well the drugs worked in several types of cancer in mice. But for people with cancer, the study could be a source of confusion about what they should and should not be eating. Iyengar is a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering who treats people with breast cancer and researches the relationship between obesity and cancer. Oftentimes chemotherapy is a part of that conversation.
Increasingly common, and increasingly worrisome, are certain online sites and providers that are aggressively promoting a ketogenic diet for breast cancer patients and others with a cancer diagnosis. The theory behind a keto approach is attractive in its simplicity, and many people are delighted to believe they can, for example, now eat all the chemical-and-hormone—free meat, heavy cream and coconut oil that they desire. Yet, despite the appeal, the diet is surprisingly very hard to stick to. And even though certain anticancer results from some animal studies and a few human trials or case reports may sound compelling, there is solid evidence that a keto-based diet can potentially lead to adverse health problems. The use of the ketogenic diet is based on the observation that some cancer cells use a peculiar type of metabolism called the Warburg effect. This metabolic pathway actually ferments glucose and produces many more of the building blocks of new cancer cells than typical healthy cell metabolism. Ketones are formed when the body metabolizes fat. The ketogenic diet supplies large amounts of fat and substantially raises the levels of ketones in the blood. It can also substantially drop levels of glucose.
Other diets that induce weight loss may also be helpful in this regard. In addition, MSK has one of the most active exercise oncology programs in the nation, led by Lee Jones. If I thought there was ANY chance it may increase the chance of a recurrence, I would obviously not do it. Since the ketogenic diet deprives the body of glucose, scientists have proposed that it might also keep cancer cells from getting the energy they need to grow. Currently, two small clinical trials are looking at the effect of the keto diet in patients receiving standard treatment for metastatic breast cancer and glioblastoma. Learn more. There are other problems too: A different analysis found that very low carb diets decreased a measure of the flexibility and health of blood vessels that is essential to cardiovascular health, and many breast cancer patients unfortunately do suffer serious cardiovascular disease. When a person takes a PI3K inhibitor, insulin signaling is disrupted in the body. We recommend that your friend discuss any diets she is considering with her doctor and that she get a referral to a dietitian who has experience working with people who have cancer. Some key takeaways. We’re committed to providing you with the very best cancer care, and your safety continues to be a top priority.