(ANSA) – ROME, 27 APR – In cancer patients, interventions that have the ability to modulate metabolism (such as calorie restriction) could improve the effectiveness of therapies, changing the characteristics of the tumor and those of the immune response. It is one of the most promising fields of oncological research in recent years to which a meeting is dedicated (‘1st Milan Meet Immune Conference’) to be held today and tomorrow in Milan.
“For some time now, many researchers have begun to work on the interaction between metabolism, tumors, the immune system and therapies”, explains to ANSA Filippo de Braud, full professor at the University of Milan and director of the Oncohematology department of the National Institute of tumors in Milan.
Among the most interesting discoveries, explains de Braud, the fact that “with a very severe calorie restriction of 5 days we are able to obtain a metabolic shock that changes the structure of the immune system, strengthening the cells responsible for the response against the tumor and reducing the cell populations that, instead, inhibit the response”.
This strategy has already been tested in different types of cancer patients: “we have shown that this type of restriction is feasible and is tolerated by patients.
In addition, exceptional responses have been observed in some sporadic cases,” says de Braud.
At the moment these are considered isolated cases, to be verified in new trials. “We have two studies underway: one on triple-negative breast cancer, the other on small cell lung cancer. In particular, the breast study will involve the most important national centers with two hundred patients involved. The results are expected in the next two years,” explains the oncologist. Meanwhile, studies are being designed on other tumors: “the goal is to increase the effectiveness of treatments, especially immunotherapy ones. We hope in this in order to change clinical practice”, concludes de Braud. (HANDLE).
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