Results for a modified keto diet in animal models were really hopeful," she adds. "Researchers in previous studies implanted animal model brains with cancerous glioma cells to study the effect of ketosis on their survival and to monitor what happened to the glioma cells; the models had a modest increase in survival with ketogenic diet as compared to controls not on the ketogenic diet. However, when radiation was added to the treatment of ketogenic diet there was a significant increase in survival, so much so that 9 out of the 11 animal models were cured of their tumors."
"This is why we think that ketones may act as a radiation sensitizing agent, and this would explain the significantly increased survival in the animal models on the ketogenic diet with radiation as compared to the models on the ketogenic diet alone," Chaudhary adds. "Initially, this was thought to work because of the low sugar state; however, other animal model studies have shown that not only do the brain tumors implanted in animals take up the ketones, but also they use them for energy. This led us to the hypothesis that perhaps the ketones are being taken up in the tumors and are making the tumors more sensitive to radiation. There is limited data in humans with ketogenic diets and cancer but because of the preliminary data in animal models and retrospective data in humans with glioblastoma, trials are beginning to pop up.
KD was feasible and safe as an adjuvant to standard chemoradiation treatment of glioblastoma multiforme