Dr. Adrienne Scheck had always been interested in cancer research, but it wasn’t until her lab fortuitously found its way next to Dr. John Roe’s that she would encounter a proposition that would indefinitely redirect the focus of her research. Dr. John Roe, clinician, scientist, and international expert on the use of the ketogenic diet in the treatment of epilepsy, asked Dr. Scheck if she would be interested in researching the effects of ketones on brain tumors, and it wasn’t long until the two were collaborating on a pilot experiment using cells from an aggressive brain tumor. “The results were so good that I really started to change the direction of my lab in many ways to study this,” says Dr. Scheck. The study showed that ketones—even in the presence of high glucose levels—significantly enhanced the effectiveness of chemotherapy, the standard of care.
As the author of Cancer and the Ketogenic diet, research scientist at the Institute of Molecular Medicine at Phoenix Children’s Research Institute, and associate investigator in the cancer biology program at the University of Arizona, Dr. Scheck draws from decades’ worth of knowledge and experience to make for a compelling conversation that touches on everything from the role of ketones as epigenetic modifiers and their ability to repair damaged DNA, the possibility of sensitizing tumors to radiation by consuming exogenous ketones, how changing the acetylation and/or methylation of DNA can change its susceptibility to damage, the genetic and phenotypic differences between different types of tumors, and the coming advances in technology that will accelerate research in this field.
Tune in for more and search for Adrienne Scheck online to stay current on her latest research.