Pre-diagnosis diet and survival after a diagnosis of ovarian cancer

The relationship between diet and survival after ovarian cancer diagnosis is unclear as a result of a limited number of studies and inconsistent findings.

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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.

Full reference: Playdon, M.C. et al. (2017) Pre-diagnosis diet and survival after a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. British Journal of Cancer. 116. pp. 1627–1637

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Starving prostate cancer with what you eat: Apple peels, red grapes, turmeric

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

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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.

Sugar and cancer – what you need to know

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

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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.

Read the full blog post here

Coffee consumption linked to reduced risk of liver cancer

Kennedy, O.J. et al. (2017) Coffee, including caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, and the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma: a systematic review and dose–response meta-analysis. BMJ Open. 7:e013739

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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.

Read the full article here

Amino acids in diet could be key to starving cancer

Cutting out certain amino acids from the diet of mice slows tumor growth and prolongs survival, according to new research | ScienceDaily

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SPOTzillah – Wikipedia // CC BY-SA 4.0

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.

Read the full commentary here

The original research abstract is available here

Dietary emulsifiers, gut inflammation, tumours and colorectal cancer in mice

Original Article

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.

Read the abstract here


Expert Reaction

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.”

Read the full expert reactions here

The relationship between vegetable & fruit consumption and gallbladder & bile duct cancer

Makiuchi, T. et al. International Journal of Cancer. Published online: 31 October 2016

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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.

Read the abstract here