Calorie Restriction Versus Cancer

Via Newswise, a look at the mechanisms behind the interaction of calorie restriction and tumor growth: "The connection between food consumption and tumor growth is not new. In the early 20th Century, scientists first noted the correlation between a restricted diet and decreased tumor size and incidence. However, some cancers' growth rate was unaffected by a decrease in food consumption. The reason for this difference remained unclear. ... researchers have [now] pinpointed a cellular pathway that determines whether cancerous tumors respond to dietary restriction during their development. Studying human cancer cell lines in mice, researchers have found that when this pathway, known as PI3K, is activated permanently via mutation, tumors grow and proliferate independent of food consumption. However, when the PI3K pathway operates normally, dietary restriction (defined as a 60% reduction in normal intake), results in smaller tumors. ... We already know that the United States has an epidemic of obesity and that obesity is probably the biggest contributor to cancer in the U.S., even more so than smoking. Does this research have anything to do with that correlation between obesity and cancer, that if we make animals really obese, that this pathway is also involved in determining their sensitivity to cancer? Answering that question is the next step."

Link: http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/549948/

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