16 Jul Can a Low Methionine Diet Starve Triple-Negative Breast Cancer?
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Vincent L. Cryns MD
Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Department of Medicine
University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Madison, Wisconsin
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Cryns: It’s been known for quite some time that many tumors are highly vulnerable to deficiencies in certain amino acids such as methionine, causing tumor cells to stop growing or die. What’s been missing is a molecular explanation for these effects that would allow us incorporate this approach into a rationally designed clinical trial. In our work, we have demonstrated that “starving” triple-negative breast cancer cells of methionine uncovers a “fatal flaw” by increasing the expression of a cell death receptor (TRAIL-R2) that we can activate with a therapeutic antibody to efficiently kill the tumor cells. What’s especially exciting is that we can use a specific diet to metabolically prime cancer cells to respond to a targeted cancer therapy.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Cryns: We hope that our laboratory study will guide the way for a clinical trial of a low methionine diet in combination with a TRAIL-R2 antibody in patients with clinically aggressive triple-negative breast cancer. Unfortunately, patients with triple-negative breast cancer have limited treatment options beyond standard surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Cryns: A critical first step to determine the feasibility of this approach in patients would be to do a small clinical trial in breast cancer patients to see if a low-methionine diet does indeed increase the expression of the TRAIL-R2 receptor in their breast tumors. This would provide a strong rationale for combining a low-methionine diet with a therapeutic TRAIL-R2 antibody in a clinical trial.
Dr. Vincent L. Cryns MD (2015). Can a Low Methionine Diet Starve Triple-Negative Breast Cancer?