Dietary cancer therapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy impacts on aggressive metastatic cancer.

A research team from the Hyperbaric Biomedical Research Laboratory at the has published a study entitled “The Ketogenic Diet and Hyperbaric Prolong Survival in Mice with Systemic ,” which was published online today in PLOS ONE.

Led by Dominic D’Agostino, PhD, principal investigator in the Department of and Physiology at the Morsani , the research shows the effects of combining two nontoxic adjuvant cancer therapies, the ketogenic diet and hyperbaric , in a mouse model of late-stage, .

“Our study demonstrates the potential of these cost-effective, nontoxic therapies to contribute to current regimens and significantly improve the outcome of patients with advanced ,” D’Agostino said.

The spread of canncer from the primary tumor to spots that establish themselves in other parts of the body are responsible for over 90 percent of cancer-related deaths in humans. Treatment for has been one of the largest obstacle in finding a cure for cancer.

Mice with advanced were fed either a standard or carbohydrate-restricted ketogenic diet. Mice on both diets also received hyperbaric , which uses a special chamber to increase the amount of oxygen in the tissues.

The ketogenic diet forces a physiological shift in substrate utilization from glucose to and for energy. Normal healthy cells readily adapt to using for fuel, but lack this metabolic flexibility, and thus become selectively vulnerable to reduced glucose availability. Solid tumors also have areas of low oxygen, which promotes tumor growth and metastatic spread.

Hyperbaric involves breathing 100 percent oxygen at elevated barometric pressure, saturating the tumors with oxygen. When administered properly, both the ketogenic diet and hyperbaric are non-toxic and may even protect healthy tissues while simultaneously damaging , D’Agostino said.

While both therapies slowed disease progression independently, animals receiving the combined ketogenic diet and hyperbaric lived 78 percent longer than mice fed a standard high-carbohydrate diet.


Angela M. Poff, Csilla Ari, Thomas N. Seyfried, Dominic P. D’Agostino. The Ketogenic Diet and Hyperbaric Prolong Survival in Mice with Systemic . PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (6): e65522 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065522

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