Restricting blood sugar makes cancer treatment work better

Restricting blood sugar makes cancer treatment work better

A team of scientists from Oxford University has shown that inhibiting the metabolic activity of cancer cells by restricting blood sugar levels can make cancer treatment more effective.


In this study, the scientists manipulated metabolism both with in vitro colorectal, lung and ovarian cancer cells, and then in vivo grafted tumours in mouse models to study if a cancer treatment could be made to work more effectively.


Lead author of the study(1), researcher and Ph.D student Arthur Dyer reported that by restricting glucose support to the cancer cellsoncolytic viruses reproduced more rapidly and destroyed more cancer cells. The researchers are now moving to human clinical trials with oncolytic viruses, the particular one in question being Enadenotucirev with Ovarian cancer.


However, there were more observations. For example, Professor Len Seymour, Chair of Gene Medicine at Oxford University, stated that “Because cancer gobbles up sugar so quickly, the cells are very vulnerable to attack from a drug that targets the sugar pathway”.


Chris Woollams, founder of CANCERactive and himself a former Oxford University Biochemist said, “This admission is extremely interesting especially as Seymour is Cancer Research funded and they adamantly reject the notion that cancer cells have an avarice for glucose.  Their ‘blogger’ even attacked me for making the same point. Yet we know, for example, that oncologists in London are using the diabetes drug Metformin to reduce blood sugar and cancer metabolism. The herb Berberine has studies on its effectiveness too. In Colorectal cancer Johns Hopkins Medical School told the world in 2009 that sugar-starvation improved survival times(2).


In this study, the researchers reported that all adenoviruses caused an uptake of glucose and glutamine in the cancer cells with increased glycolysis. Thus reducing glycolysis by restricting glucose made the oncolytic drug work better. And we have covered the dangers of high glutamine/glutamate consumption before on this site and how foods like bone broth are to be avoided by people with cancer.”


Go to: 20 links between sugar and cancer



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1. Dyer et al. Antagonism of glycolysis and reductive carboxylation of glutamine potentiates activity of oncolytic adenoviruses in cancer.


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