OCT 30, 2019 9:14 PM PDT

How caloric restriction mimetics might prove helpful for cancer treatments

The benefits of fasting have been known to scientists and medical professionals for some time now, however, for many, the reality of fasting is not alluring. Perhaps that’s why a class of substances called caloric restriction mimetics (CMRs) has received so much attention in research investigations. Now, a new study published in EMBO Molecular Medicine details how one CMR, in particular, could be useful for treating age-related diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease. The research team was led by Oliver Kepp and Guido Kroemer at the French Medical Research Council (INSERM).

CRMs are unique in their ability to mimic the anti-aging effects of fasting, without acting having to drastically change your lifestyle. These substances work because they induce cells into autophagy, a process that happens naturally during fasting in which cells stop the growth and begin to repurpose their own waste, thus clearing toxins and undesirable proteins. Some substances, such as spermidine and resveratrol have been shown to be correlated with human longevity and reduced cardiovascular and cancer-related mortality.

In order to find this new substance, the research team analyzed 200 compounds in the same class of CRMs as spermidine and resveratrol. While previous studies have proven the anti-aging effects of CRMs in species such as yeast, worms, and mice, the field is still emerging and lacks much research in humans. This study, comparable to past ones, has faced similar limitations.

CRMs may offer an alternative to a lifestyle change while still receiving the benefits of fasting. Photo: Pixabay

In their analysis, the team found that an agent called 3,4-dimethoxy chalcone (3,4-DC) was the most effective at inducing autophagy in a way that is not toxic to cells. They conducted these tests on rat and human cell cultures, and later on living mice. While they have still yet to test 3,4-DC in human trials, they found that the agent “protects against myocardial infarction and that it reduces the growth of tumors in the context of certain chemotherapeutic agents,” according to Science Daily.

“Altogether, our results suggest that 3,4‐DC is a novel CRM with a previously unrecognized mode of action,” write the authors. Furthermore, explains Science Daily, “The study is a proof of principle that the researchers' approach to testing substances in cell culture is a fast and efficient way to identify new CRM candidates with diverse modes of action.”

Sources: EMBO Molecular Medicine, Science Daily

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
APR 04, 2020
Cancer
APR 04, 2020
Unique Cancer Mutation Hijacks Nearby Signaling Pathway
  In cancer, tyrosine kinase mutations are quite common. MET is one such example that normally binds its native lig ...
APR 02, 2020
Cancer
APR 02, 2020
Diagnosing Cancer: SMOC2 and Thyroid Cancer
  Thyroid cancer is the most common of the endocrine cancers, with papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTCs) being the mo ...
MAR 31, 2020
Cancer
MAR 31, 2020
Ovarian cancer metastasis and CPT1A
Research published in the journal Molecular Cancer Research from collaborators at the University of Colorado C ...
APR 01, 2020
Cancer
APR 01, 2020
New immunotherapy for ovarian cancer
Research published recently in the Journal of Experimental Medicine suggests that targeting macrophages in a new kind of ...
MAY 23, 2020
Cancer
MAY 23, 2020
Can metformin treat lymphoma?
A popular diabetes medication may be useful in treating cancer, according to new research published recently in Cell Rep ...
MAY 28, 2020
Cancer
MAY 28, 2020
Oncologists need more training on how to deliver bad news
A commentary published earlier this spring in the Journal of Clinical Oncology urges for improved training for medical p ...
Loading Comments...