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National brain tumour research funding needs to increase to £30-35 million a year

Scientists reveal the relationship between sugar and cancer

Scientists reveal the relationship between sugar and cancer

A nine-year joint research project conducted by Belgium-based institutions VIB, KU Leuven and VUB has led to a crucial breakthrough in cancer research. In the findings published in Nature Communications journal, scientists have clarified how the Warburg effect, a phenomenon in which cancer cells rapidly break down sugars, stimulates tumour growth.

This discovery provides evidence for a positive correlation between sugar and cancer; an outcome which might have far-reaching impacts on personalised diets for patients.

The implications of the study are relevant to research carried out at our Imperial Centre of Excellence, which focuses on the Ketogenic diet. It is known that GBM cells need high glucose levels to survive. The diet decreases the availability of glucose for the cells and therefore potentially decreases their energy levels which may result in diminished growth. The KD is a high-fat low-carbohydrate diet and has been used in the clinic for the treatment of refractory paediatric epilepsy. The KD has been shown to have a beneficial effect on pre-clinical models of GBM including the potentiation of the effects of radiation and chemotherapies.

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