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Low fat diet may help prostate cancer patients

By David Liu PHD

Both fat and sugar may promote the growth of prostate cancer.  In other words, prostate cancer patients may want to reduce intake of fat and sugar, a new study released in the May 4, 2012 issue of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics suggests.

The study led by William J. Aronson of UCLA Department of Urology in Los Angeles, California and colleagues showed that an reduction in dietary fat and blockage of insulin-like growth factor-I individually inhibit prostate cancer xenograft growth.

Eating sugar is known to boost the production of insulin and insulin-like growth factor -I, both of which are associated with high risks of cancers including prostate cancer.

In the study, 50 mice were injected with prostate cancer cells subcutaneously.  Ten days after injection, the mice were randomized to four groups, one group receiving a high fat diet plus saline, one receiving high fat diet plus IGF-1R blocking antibody therapy, one receiving low fat diet and saline and the fourth group receiving both low fat diet and the IGF-1R blocking antibody therapy.

After 19-day treatment, the antibody treatment was found to inhibit the growth of tumors and induced apoptosis in several prostate cancer cell lines.   The low fat diet and antibody therapy significantly reduced proliferation and ERK activation in tumors.

Mice on high fat and antibody therapy had significantly higher serum insulin levels compared to the high fat diet.  However, the low fat diet and antibody therapy had significantly lower insulin levels.