There are Two Essential Amino Acids That Might Help in a Fight Against Brain Cancer

Findings suggest that restricting dietary intake of methionine and tryptophan might help slow tumor progression and improve treatment outcomes

There are Two Essential Amino Acids That Might Help in a Fight Against Brain Cancer

The most lethal form of brain cancer can be decreased by two essential amino acids; the new study shows. The researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) are hoping that their studies are going help, devastated patients.

This means there could be new ways for treating malignancy, and slowing this disease down. In glioblastoma, the essential amino acids, methionine, and tryptophan are metabolized because of the loss of key enzymes in GBM cells.

This altered methionine metabolism makes the path to activation of oncogenes, and tryptophan metabolism changes protect GBM cells from detection by immune cells. These changes help in tumor progression and cancer-cell survival.

“Our findings suggest that restricting dietary intake of methionine and tryptophan might help slow tumor progression and improve treatment outcomes,” says first author and OSUCCC – James researcher Kamalakannan Palanichamy, Ph.D., research assistant professor in Radiation Oncology.

The study is published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

“While we need to better understand how these abnormally regulated metabolites activate oncogenic proteins, our intriguing discovery suggests novel therapeutic targets for this disease,” says principal investigator and study leader Arnab Chakravarti, MD, chair, and professor of Radiation Oncology and co-director of the Brain Tumor Program at the OSUCCC – James.

“For example, restoring the lost enzymes in the two metabolic pathways might slow tumor progression and reduce aggressiveness by inactivating oncogenic kinases and activating immune responses,” says Chakravarti, who holds the Max Morehouse Chair in Cancer Research.

He also adds that because GBM cells use methionine so faster than normal glioma cells, it will help with more precise surgical procedures when it comes to brain cancer. About 11,880 new cases of GBM happen in 2015, with overall surviving 12 to 15 months with needing of urgent therapies.

For all the patients, the proper thing to do is to provide them a proper diet, such as lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, eggs, nuts, fish or soybeans.

GBM cells focus methionine 5-100 times greater than regular human astrocytes. Growing GBM cells without methionine slowed their proliferation 40-60 %.

Unusual methionine metabolism results in aberrant methylation and gene silencing. Reinforcing kynurenine catabolic enzymes in the tryptophan pathway might enable immune cells to identify and ruin GBM cells.

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