Mediterranean Diet Improves Immunotherapy Response Rates In Melanoma Study

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Polyphenol Rich Mediterranean Diet Linked With Progression-Free Survival In Advanced Melanoma

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Mediterranean Diet And Melanoma Survival
  • New study links adherence to The Mediterranean Diet with improved immunotherapy response rates.
  • Fibre and Polyphenol rich diet with fatty acids indicated as advantageous for advanced melanoma patients.
  • Study being expanded to various tumor types, including digestive cancers
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil Long associated with reduced risk of cancer across 45 studies

Eating a fibre and polyphenol rich, Mediterranean diet, with plenty of mono-unsaturated fatty acids has been linked with improved immunotherapy response rates and progression-free survival in advanced melanoma patients, according to a new study

Results of the study,  presented this week at UEG Week 2022, suggest The Mediterranean Diet could play an important role in the success of immunotherapy in the future. According to a report in Medicalexpress.com, trials are being expanded to investigate outcomes for different tumor types, including digestive cancers.

Mediterranean Diet And Immune System Response

As explained in the report, a Mediterranean diet, containing mono-and polyunsaturated fats from olive oil, nuts and fish, polyphenols and fiber from vegetables, fruit, and wholegrains, was significantly associated with an improved response to immunotherapy drugs called Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors (ICIs). ICIs, which have been highly successful in treating melanoma, work by blocking immune system checkpoints, which then force the body’s own T-cells to attack cancers.

The new multi-center study by researchers from the U.K. and the Netherlands, recorded the dietary intake of 91 patients with advanced melanoma, who were treated with ICI drugs and monitored their progress with regular radiographic response check-ups.

As well as having a significant association with overall response rate, a Mediterranean diet was significantly associated with progression-free survival at 12 months.

Talking about the study, author Laura Bolte from University Medical Center Groningen, Netherlands said that diet and the gut microbiome provide more opportunities to enhance the immune system.

She said: “ICI has helped to revolutionize the treatment of different types of advanced cancers. Our study underlines the importance of dietary assessment in cancer patients starting ICI treatment and supports a role for dietary strategies to improve patient outcomes and survival,” Bolte said.

“The relationship of ICI response with diet and the gut microbiome opens a promising and exciting future to enhance treatment responses. Clinical trials investigating the effect of a high fiber diet, ketogenic diet and supplementation of omega-3 are underway. Since ICI therapy is being expanded to various tumor types, including digestive cancers, these studies could unlock treatment benefits for a large group of cancer patients in the future,” added Laura Bolte.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil And Reduced Risk Of Cancer

Increasing evidence shows that components of quality extra virgin olive oil offer protection against the development of several types of cancer, according to a 2022 meta-analysis published in PLoS One.

The study, also reported in the Daily Express,  found significant disparities in cancer risk between individuals who consumed olive oils and people who did not.

The meta-analysis of 45 studies showed that protection was most significant for cancer of breast, gastrointestinal, and urinary tract cancer.

The scientists concluded the meta-analysis with the statement: “In conclusion, the results of this meta-analysis represent valuable evidence of the protective effects of olive oil against cancer development.”

They added that further research could provide deeper insight into the role of olive oil in cancer prevention.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a key component of The Mediterranean Diet and there is mounting evidence that following a nutritional programme similar to this can also have significant health benefits, including reducing cancer risks.