The relationship between diet and survival after ovarian cancer diagnosis is unclear as a result of a limited number of studies and inconsistent findings.
Methods: We examined the association between pre-diagnostic diet and overall survival in a population-based cohort (n=811) of Australian women diagnosed with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer between 2002 and 2005. Diet was measured by validated food frequency questionnaire. Deaths were ascertained up to 31 August 2014 via medical record review and Australian National Death Index linkage. We conducted Cox proportional hazards regression analysis, controlling for diagnosis age, tumour stage, grade and subtype, residual disease, smoking status, body mass index, physical activity, marital status, and energy intake.
Results: We observed improved survival with highest compared with lowest quartile of fibre intake (hazard ratio (HR)=0.69, 95% CI: 0.53–0.90, P-trend=0.002). There was a suggestion of better survival for women with highest compared with lowest intake category of green leafy vegetables (HR=0.79, 95% CI: 0.62–0.99), fish (HR=0.74, 95% CI: 0.57–0.95), poly- to mono-unsaturated fat ratio (HR=0.76, 95% CI: 0.59–0.98), and worse survival with higher glycaemic index (HR=1.28, 95% CI: 1.01–1.65, P-trend=0.03).
Conclusions: The associations we observed between healthy components of diet pre-diagnosis and ovarian cancer survival raise the possibility that dietary choices after diagnosis may improve survival.
New research from The University of Texas at Austin identifies several natural compounds found in food, including turmeric, apple peels and red grapes, as key ingredients that could thwart the growth of prostate cancer | ScienceDaily
The new paper uses a novel analytical approach to screen numerous plant-based chemicals instead of testing a single agent as many studies do, discovering specific combinations that shrink prostate cancer tumors.
The researchers first tested 142 natural compounds on mouse and human cell lines to see which inhibited prostate cancer cell growth when administered alone or in combination with another nutrient. The most promising active ingredients were then tested on model animals: ursolic acid, a waxy natural chemical found in apple peels and rosemary; curcumin, the bright yellow plant compound in turmeric; and resveratrol, a natural compound common to red grapes or berries.
There’s a lot of confusing information and advice out there around sugar. It’s been made the villain of our diet, but where does the consensus lie between how sugar and cancer are linked? | Cancer Research UK Science Blog
Does it cause cancer? Does sugar feed cancer cells, making them grow more aggressively? And how does the sugar we consume through food and drink affect our health, and what can be done about this?
In this post we’re taking a long hard look at sugar.
We’ll focus specifically on sugar and cancer, busting some myths and covering what researchers are studying in the hopes of finding new ways to treat people with cancer.
And we’ll cover why the amount of sugar in our diets is cause for concern. A high-sugar diet can be bad news when it comes to cancer risk, but not for the reasons that often appear in the headlines.
But first the basics, what our bodies need sugar for and where it comes from in our diet.
Objectives: To examine the association between coffee, including caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and assess the influence of HCC aetiology and pre-existing liver disease.
Conclusions: Increased consumption of caffeinated coffee and, to a lesser extent, decaffeinated coffee are associated with reduced risk of HCC, including in pre-existing liver disease. These findings are important given the increasing incidence of HCC globally and its poor prognosis.
Cutting out certain amino acids from the diet of mice slows tumor growth and prolongs survival, according to new research | ScienceDaily
Image shows glycine; a white crystalline solid
Researchers at the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute and the University of Glasgow found that removing two non-essential amino acids — serine and glycine — from the diet of mice slowed the development of lymphoma and intestinal cancer.
The researchers also found that the special diet made some cancer cells more susceptible to chemicals in cells called reactive oxygen species.
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy boost levels of these chemicals in the cells, so this research suggests a specially formulated diet could make conventional cancer treatments more effective.
Viennois, E et al. Cancer Research. Published online: 7 November 2016
The increased risks conferred by inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to the development of colorectal cancer (CRC) gave rise to the term “colitis-associated cancer” and the concept that inflammation promotes colon tumorigenesis. A condition more common than IBD is low-grade inflammation, which correlates with altered gut microbiota composition and metabolic syndrome, both present in many cases of CRC.
Recent findings suggest that low-grade inflammation in the intestine is promoted by consumption of dietary emulsifiers, a ubiquitous component of processed foods which alter the composition of gut microbiota. Here, we demonstrate in a pre-clinical model of colitis-induced CRC that regular consumption of dietary emulsifiers carboxymethylcellulose or polysorbate-80 exacerbated tumor development. Enhanced tumor development was associated with an altered microbiota metagenome characterized by elevated levels of lipopolysaccharide and flagellin.
We found that emulsifier-induced alterations in the microbiome were necessary and sufficient to drive alterations in major proliferation and apoptosis signaling pathways thought to govern tumor development. Overall, our findings support the concept that perturbations in host-microbiota interactions that cause low-grade gut inflammation can promote colon carcinogenesis.
Prof. Tom Sanders, Professor emeritus of Nutrition and Dietetics, King’s College London
“Overall this short-term mouse study has several limitations, including the extreme levels of additives the mice were fed, and that they had also been injected with a cancer-causing substance. We can’t assume this study is applicable to humans, so it shouldn’t be cause for concern.”
Prof. Sir Colin Berry, Emeritus Professor of Pathology, Queen Mary University London
“The significant limitations of this mouse study include that the quantities of emulsifiers fed to the mice were orders of magnitude greater than the likely dose for any human population. So, the amount of emulsifiers these mice were fed is not equivalent to what we have in our diets. These results do not demonstrate that emulsifiers in food make a contribution to the incidence of colorectal cancer in man.”
Makiuchi, T. et al. International Journal of Cancer. Published online: 31 October 2016
Vegetable and fruit consumption may have a protective effect against several types of cancers. However, the effect on biliary cancers is unclear. We investigated the association of vegetable/fruit consumption with the risks of gallbladder cancer (GBC), intrahepatic bile duct cancer (IHBDC) and extrahepatic bile duct cancer (EHBDC) in a population-based prospective cohort study in Japan.
Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using the Cox proportional hazard model, and the exposure level was categorized into quartiles, with the lowest group used as the reference.
A total of 80,371 people aged 45–74 years were enrolled between 1995 and 1999, and followed up for 1,158,632 person-years until 2012, during which 133 GBC, 99 IHBDC, and 161 EHBDC cases were identified.
Increased consumption of total vegetable and fruit was significantly associated with a decreased risk of EHBDC (HR = 0.49; 95% CI: 0.29–0.81 for the highest group; P-trend = 0.005). From the analysis of relevant nutrients, significantly decreased risk of EHBDC was associated with folate and insoluble fiber (HR = 0.48, 0.53; 95% CI: 0.28–0.85, 0.31–0.88 for the highest group; P-trend = 0.010, 0.023; respectively), and a significant trend of decreased EHBDC risk associated with vitamin C was observed (P-trend = 0.029). No decreased risk of GBC and IHBDC was found. Our findings suggest that increased vegetable/fruit consumption may decrease a risk of EHBDC, and folate, vitamin C, and insoluble fiber might be key contributors to the observed protective effect.
Donald, M & Borthwick, D. (2016) Cancer Nursing Practice. 15(8) pp. 27-31
Image shows scanning electron micrograph of lung cancer cells.
Malnutrition is common in patients with cancer and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Many patients with lung cancer have multiple disease-related symptoms, which, along with the effect of treatment and the psychological distress of diagnosis, are likely to affect their nutritional status and overall quality of life.
This article outlines the consequences of malnutrition in patients with lung cancer and the effect of treatment options on nutritional status. It explores identification and management of malnutrition in patients, including the early use of nutritional screening and the provision of nutritional support such as dietary counselling and modification, oral nutritional supplements, and enteral and parenteral nutrition. A nutritional care pathway is outlined, which aims to help nurses and other healthcare professionals adopt an evidence-based, best practice approach to nutritional care for patients with lung cancer. The importance of the lung cancer clinical nurse specialist in nutritional screening and support is highlighted.
Beeken, R.J. et al. (2016) European Journal of Cancer Care. 25(5). pp. 774–783
Given the abundance of misreporting about diet and cancer in the media and online, cancer survivors are at risk of misinformation. The aim of this study was to explore cancer survivors’ beliefs about diet quality and cancer, the impact on their behaviour and sources of information. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with adult cancer survivors in the United Kingdom who had been diagnosed with any cancer in adulthood and were not currently receiving treatment (n = 19).
Interviews were analysed using Thematic Analysis. Emergent themes highlighted that participants were aware of diet affecting risk for the development of cancer, but were less clear about its role in recurrence. Nonetheless, their cancer diagnosis appeared to be a prompt for dietary change; predominantly to promote general health. Changes were generally consistent with healthy eating recommendations, although dietary supplements and other non-evidence-based actions were mentioned. Participants reported that they had not generally received professional advice about diet and were keen to know more, but were often unsure about information from other sources.
The views of our participants suggest cancer survivors would welcome guidance from health professionals. Advice that provides clear recommendations, and which emphasises the benefits of healthy eating for overall well-being, may be particularly well-received.
Ogawa, T. et al. International Journal of Cancer. Published online: 25 August 2016
Few prospective studies have investigated the etiology of brain tumor, especially among Asian populations. Both coffee and green tea are popular beverages, but their relation with brain tumor risk, particularly with glioma, has been inconsistent in epidemiological studies. In this study, we evaluated the association between coffee and greed tea intake and brain tumor risk in a Japanese population.
We evaluated a cohort of 106,324 subjects (50,438 men and 55,886 women) in the Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective Study (JPHC Study). Subjects were followed from 1990 for Cohort I and 1993 for Cohort II until December 31, 2012. 157 (70 men and 87 women) newly diagnosed cases of brain tumor were identified during the study period. Hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CIs) for the association between coffee or green tea consumption and brain tumor risk were assessed using a Cox proportional hazards regression model.
We found a significant inverse association between coffee consumption and brain tumor risk in both total subjects (≥3 cups/day; HR=0.47, 95%CI=0.22-0.98) and in women (≥3 cups/day; HR=0.24, 95%CI=0.06-0.99), although the number of cases in the highest category was small. Furthermore, glioma risk tended to decrease with higher coffee consumption (≥3 cups/day; HR=0.54, 95%CI=0.16-1.80). No association was seen between green tea and brain tumor risk.
In conclusion, our study suggested that coffee consumption might reduce the risk of brain tumor, including that of glioma, in the Japanese population.