Yes, but there isn’t any money in it for doctors.
Dave Bolton, age 35, diagnosed with stage 4 advanced brain cancer ditched carbohydrates and replaced them with protein and vegetables and experienced a shrinkage of his terminal brain tumor to the point where it is barely detectable. Chemotherapy was also employed. The scans of his brain are quite remarkable. [Daily Mail UK Aug 24, 2016]
Such a high-fat/low carbohydrate diet has been shown to inhibit growth of the type of brain tumor that affected Mr. Bolton. [Clinical Cancer Research May 15, 2016] Cancer researchers now say an anti-cancer diet is now a proven possibility. [Clinical Nutrition Oct 2016]
While little progress has been made for the type of brain cancer that Mr. Bolton was diagnosed with (gioblastoma multiforme), and it is known as the most lethal of brain tumors, treatment itself (chemotherapy, steroids, radiation) has actually been shown to create a tumor environment rich in glucose and glutamine (an amino acid). Both are “food” for cancer. [Cancer Letters Jan 2015]
In the animal lab a so-called ketogenic (high-fat) diet has been shown to boost immunity. [BMC Cancer May 13, 2016]
Simple affordable fasting and calorie restriction also produce a similar anti-cancer effect to a ketogenic diet. [Journal Lipid Research Jan 2015]
Despite the abundance of lab dish and animal trials, there are few human clinical trials of this anti-cancer diet to date. [Future Oncology July 2013]
Because cancer cells convert from utilizing oxygen to sugar for growth, the combination of a ketogenic diet plus forced oxygen (hyperbaric O2) produces an even more demonstrable anti-cancer effect. [PLoS One Jun 5, 2013]
The use of a high-fat diet to reduce tumor size was reported in 1987. [British Journal Cancer July 1987] Yet chemo and radiation therapy have remained the mainstays of cancer treatment. There are only 131 published reports at the National Library of Medicine on the topic of ketogenic diets and cancer since 1987. [Pubmed.gov] There are 687,096 published reports involving chemotherapy and cancer. [Pubmed.gov]
It is unforeseeable how insurance pools to fund cancer treatment can be sustained under the current treatment paradigm. [Expert Reviews Pharmacoeconomics Outcomes Research 2015] Cancer treatment clinics continue to favor intravenous medicines that generate the majority of their income even over promising new oral medications. [Perspectives Biology Medicine 2014]
Regardless of cost, what patients want are cures. John Marshall MD, director and chief of oncology at Georgetown University says: “With every few exceptions, every one of my patients is seeking a cure for their cancer. They are not seeking 1.4 month improvement in overall survival… we must refocus our efforts on finding cures.” [Seminars Oncology April 2014]
The medical research community is developing more expensive, not less expensive technologies daily. In contrast to development of other technologies, for example cheaper, faster, smaller computer printers, modern medicine is delivering cancer care on its terms, not the patients’ terms.
Yet, ironically, fearful cancer patients, clamor for greater access to experimental cancer drugs, not ketogenic diets. [British Medical Journal June 10, 2006]
Yet it appears a ketogenic diet prolongs survival more than chemotherapy. [PLoS One May 9, 2016]
Do cancer patients want treatments that give them permission to consume cancer-causing diets? Let’s hope not. It is clear the rise in the use of high fructose corn syrup over the past 30 years has only resulted in an increase in the risk for cancer. [Nutrients Dec 22, 2014] Diet plans for cancer patients are remarkably absent from oncologists!