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Starving Cancer Without Starving The Body: Is It Possible?

By Author: lewisvillefm
Total Articles: 17

With an estimated 1.7 million Americans facing down a diagnosis of cancer in the coming year alone, researchers continue their quest to find new treatments and possible cures. One up-and-coming area of research involves starving cancer cells of sugar without necessarily starving the body’s healthy cells in the process.

Sugar, or glucose as it becomes in the body, is one of the main fuel sources for cancer cell growth. The unfortunate truth, however, is that sugar is also critical fuel for all cells. If the body is denied glucose, it simply cannot function. And, since all foods ultimately are broken down by the body to create glucose, eliminating it entirely just isn’t possible. While some have suggested that cutting out processed sugar may help in the cancer-fighting process, studies haven’t supported that notion. New research may unlock the key on how to deprive cancer cells without depriving the rest of the body.

The research focuses in on a protein known as PARP14. This protein is used by cancer cells to super-charge their growth. In the process, PARP14 helps cancer grow and thrive. The finding has implications that go beyond a possible way to fight cancer through starvation. It also seems that overproduction of PARP14 may serve as a marker to predict cancer aggressiveness and survival likelihood.

Researchers have found that patients with significantly higher PARP14 levels seem to be more likely to display aggressive cancer. Biopsies from those who have died show higher levels of the protein than those taken from survivors. The prediction value of PARP14 is an exciting prospect for clinicians because it may help lead to more effective treatments. In addition, researchers have found in limited studies that inhibiting or cutting down the level of PARP14 can starve cancer cells, essentially killing them in the process.

While PARP14 remains an active area of study, the findings may someday open up new treatment options. PARP14 inhibitors, if found to be effective, are believed to have the ability to work on cancer cells without impacting healthy ones. That could mean this type of therapy may spare the body of the collateral damage caused by traditional treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy.

Whether PARP14 inhibitors will stand up to scrutiny remains to be seen. As studies continue, those diagnosed with cancer are urged to talk to their doctors about all treatment options that are currently available. Starving the body of sugar is not currently an advised option. Someday soon, however, starving cancer cells specifically may become a viable treatment to pursue.

About Author
Lewisville/Flower Mound Oncology Group, a division of Choice Cancer Care – is an independently owned and operated oncology practice that is completely focused on unique, comprehensive patient care.

Total Views: 194Word Count: 447See All articles From Author

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