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The Ketogenic Diet Reverses Gene Expression Patterns and Reduces Reactive Oxygen Species Levels When Used as an Adjuvant Therapy for Glioma

 

Malignant brain tumors affect people of all ages and are the second leading cause of cancer deaths in children. While current treatments are effective and improve survival, there remains a substantial need for more efficacious therapeutic modalities. The ketogenic diet (KD) - a high-fat, low-carbohydrate treatment for medically refractory epilepsy - has been suggested as an alternative strategy to inhibit tumor growth by altering intrinsic metabolism, especially by inducing glycopenia. Our data demonstrate that the KD improves survivability in our mouse model of glioma, and suggests that the mechanisms accounting for this protective effect likely involve complex alterations in cellular metabolism beyond simply a reduction in glucose.

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