A British man who rejected the standard of care to treat his brain cancer has lived with the typically fatal glioblastoma tumor growing very slowly after adopting a ketogenic diet, providing a case study that researchers say reflects the benefits of using the body’s own metabolism to fight this particularly aggressive cancer instead of chemo and radiation therapy.
Published recently in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, the report is the first evaluation of the use of ketogenic metabolic therapy (KMT) without chemo or radiation interventions, on a patient diagnosed with IDH1-mutant glioblastoma (GBM). Ketogenic therapy is a non-toxic nutritional approach, viewed as complementary or alternative, that uses a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet to manage a range of cancers, including glioblastoma.
In this particular case, the patient’s tumor contained a mutation, known as the IDH1. This mutation is acquired by chance and is known to improve overall survival. So the findings are particularly relevant to other patients whose tumors contain this mutation, according to Boston College Professor of Biology Thomas Seyfried, a co-author of the report and a leading researcher who has long advocated the benefits of KMT to treat disease.