Diet and Leukemia

November 1, 2019

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Anchor lead: Could a diet help people with one type of leukemia control the disease? Elizabeth Tracey reports

One type of leukemia may respond to reducing the amount of serine, an amino acid, in the diet, research by Brian Dalton, a leukemia expert at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues has shown. Dalton says employing such a simple strategy has long been a hope of cancer researchers.

Dalton: People have been wanting to use a dietary modification to affect cancer, but to have it be a more precise molecularly guided intervention, I think it is cool and another kind of personalized medicine. Right now we’ve been writing the proposal for a trial to do this in patients who have MDS, which is the precursor to leukemia and they have this mutation. And the ideal would be to model it after metabolic disorders that actually do this as routine practice.  :32

Dalton says people with this specific mutation have cancer cells that can’t make the amino acid on their own. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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