Something as simple as a change in diet can potentially help to increase the cancer survival rate of obese children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common childhood cancer, according to a new study by UCLA scientists.
The research team, led by Dr. Steven Mittelman, chief of pediatric endocrinology at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, administered the chemotherapy drug vincristine to obese and non-obese mice with leukemia. Researchers discovered that if they switched the obese mice from a high-fat to a low-fat diet immediately before starting chemotherapy, the mice had a dramatically improved outcome. The mice on the low-fat diet had a five times higher survival rate than the mice in the high-fat diet group. Read full story > (source: UCLA Newsroom)
Obesity and cancer risk have a mysterious relationship, with obesity increasing the risk for 13 types of cancer. For some cancers — including pediatric cancers — obesity affects survival rates, which are lower for people who are obese.
With an increasing population of overweight and obese children in the United States, researchers and physicians are racing to understand this connection – and what to do about it.
Dr. Steven Mittelman, chief of pediatric endocrinology at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, is among those looking for clues to improve children’s survival and recovery from cancer. But unlike most other researchers, Mittelman explores the connection from the perspective of the fat cell, not the cancer cell; he’s trying to understand the environment in the body that fat itself cultivates that leaves some people more vulnerable to cancer. Read full story > (source: UCLA Newsroom)