In a new study, researchers found that the right combination of a healthy diet and healthy gut bacteria may stop cancer progression.
The research was conducted by a team of scientists from the University of Luxembourg.
It is known that diet can have strong effects on the gut microbiome.
Previous research has shown that through complex metabolic interactions, healthy dietary habits may contribute to cancer prevention.
For example, diets rich in fiber can reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer.
But the possible role of a healthy diet in cancer progression and treatment has been unclear.
In the study, the team found a combination of prebiotics, such as dietary fiber, and probiotics, i.e. specific beneficial bacteria, could reduce the expression of pro-carcinogenic and drug resistance genes.
This combination can lead to metabolic changes that stop the growth of colon cancer cells and may help treat cancer.
The researchers worked with a unique gut-on-a-chip platform called Human-Microbial X-talk (HuMiX).
The platform allows the cultivation of human intestinal cells together with bacteria under representative conditions.
They found that the combination of fiber and probiotics could stop the growth of colon cancer cells.
But Individual fibre-rich or probiotic treatments were not effective.
The researchers then integrated a computer-based metabolic model of the interactions between diet, host, and microbiome and found the effects of the combined treatment.
They found that the combination stopped the genes linked to colorectal cancer and drug resistance and could destroy the self-renewal capacity of the cancer cells.
The team suggests that a deeper understanding of the microbiome-host interaction could lead to new therapeutic strategies for colon cancer patients.
They hope that their results will help improve personalized dietary recommendations in cancer treatment plans.
The lead author of the study is Dr. Kacy Greenhalgh, post-doc within the Eco-Systems Biology group at LCSB.
The study is published in Cell Reports.
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