Women's Health: Avoid These Foods and Discourage The Spread of Breast Cancer

Women's Health: Avoid These Foods and Discourage The Spread of Breast Cancer

The amino acid - a building block of proteins - can be produced by every cell in the human body, including cancer cells, or absorbed from foods such as beef, dairy, poultry, seafood, asparagus and soy.

The scientists from the universities' Lambe institute spent five years developing the method which exploits a specific type of stem cell and uses it to deliver cancer fighting drugs. Among other techniques, the team used dietary restrictions to limit asparagine.

"Our study adds to a growing body of evidence that suggests diet can influence the course of the disease, " said Dr. Simon Knott, associate director of the Center for Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics at Cedars-Sinai and one of two first authors of the study.

In the study - which is published in the journal Nature Communications - the researchers outline a survival pathway that had not yet been described in previous breast cancer studies, and which may provide a potential new target for future therapies. If this experiment is successful, researchers will recruit cancer patients for the next phase of the clinical trial.

The researchers studied triple-negative breast cancer cells, which grow and spread faster than most other types of cancer cells.

However, the main problem when it comes to treating triple-negative breast cancer cells is that they do not have receptors that allow them to bind to estrogen and progesterone.

If further research confirms the findings in human cells, limiting the amount of asparagine cancer patients ingest could be a potential strategy to augment existing therapies and to prevent the spread of breast cancer, Knott said.

The research has its limitations as it was not conducted on humans but mice, however, the research yet carries much weight given the widespread levels of breast cancer in the world at present. Those cells colonize in the lungs, brain and liver, where they proliferate.

In that study, in vitro cancer cells treated with interferon-β had a significantly reduced likelihood of forming into tumors.

"Triple-negative breast cancer", says study co-author Ofer Reizes, Ph.D., "is resistant to treatment and has a high recurrence rate".

"When cancer has spread it is hard to deliver therapy to many sites of disease while protecting healthy tissue", lead author of the study, Dr Róisín Dwyer explained.

"When the availability of "asparagine'' was reduced, we saw little impact on the primary tumour in the breast, but tumour cells had reduced capacity for metastases (spread) in other parts of the body"".

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