OCT 12, 2022 1:00 PM PDT

Mediterranean Diet Improves Immunotherapy Response in Advanced Melanoma Patients

WRITTEN BY: Ryan Vingum

The Mediterranean diet has been popularized in recent years for its wide-ranging health benefits. Among the many health benefits of the diet include a significant reduction in the risk of cardiovascular diseases (such as the lowering of cholesterol and the prevention of heart disease), the management of blood glucose levels, and the management of a healthy weight, all of which can contribute to a person’s increased longevity.

Part of the Mediterranean’s health benefits stems from the increased amounts of healthy unsaturated fats people consume while following these diets. These fats, including mono and polyunsaturated fats, come from a higher consumption of fish, nuts, and whole grains, which are staples of the diet. In comparison, the typical American diet consists of pretty much the opposite: saturated fats, enriched flours, and sugar.

According to a study presented at UEG Week 2022, the Mediterranean diet could count “helps improve response to cancer treatment” among its many health benefits.

The presentation recounts preliminary data from a multi-center trial that included about 90 participants with advanced melanoma from the U.S. and the Netherlands. Researchers gathered information about patient’s dietary habits while they were receiving treatment with an immune checkpoint inhibitor. Immune checkpoint inhibitors work by blocking certain parts of the immune system, which tells T-cells to start attacking cancer cells.

With the use of regular imaging scans, researchers were able to show that patients who followed a Mediterranean diet had (1) a better response to immune checkpoint inhibitors and (2) progression-free survival after 12 months of treatment. Researchers highlight that their findings indicate the importance of dietary education and support for melanoma patients, which could help improve treatment outcomes.

Researchers also found that following parts of the Mediterranean diet could reduce side effects caused by immune checkpoint inhibitors or other immune-based treatments. The team suggests that there may be links between diet, the gut microbiome, and the efficacy of treatment of patients with melanoma.   

Sources: Eurekalert!; UEG Week 2022

About the Author
Master's (MA/MS/Other)
Science writer and editor, with a focus on simplifying complex information about health, medicine, technology, and clinical drug development for a general audience.
You May Also Like
DEC 14, 2022
Genetics & Genomics
How Agriculture Turned a Wild Plant Into a Weed
How Agriculture Turned a Wild Plant Into a Weed
Wild plants are everywhere. So why do some become pests? New research has studied how agriculture created that problem f ...
DEC 20, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
The Most Prominent Terpenes in Cannabis
The Most Prominent Terpenes in Cannabis
What are terpenes, and what are the most common ones you can find in your favorite weed strains?
DEC 27, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Effects of Feeding Hemp Silage to Dairy Cows
Effects of Feeding Hemp Silage to Dairy Cows
A team of researchers led by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) studied the effects of feeding hemp ...
JAN 16, 2023
Cell & Molecular Biology
The First Cross-Species Signaling Pathway is Discovered
The First Cross-Species Signaling Pathway is Discovered
For the first time, a signaling pathway that links two species has been revealed - molecules generated when bacteria inf ...
JAN 18, 2023
Genetics & Genomics
Detangling the Mystery of Hair Loss in Animals
Detangling the Mystery of Hair Loss in Animals
Most animals are covered in hair, so why do some, like humans, have so much less than all the rest even though we still ...
JAN 31, 2023
Chemistry & Physics
Plastic Debris on the Ocean Floor Has Tripled in 20 Years
Plastic Debris on the Ocean Floor Has Tripled in 20 Years
A new study shows that the total amount of microplastic deposited on the bottom of oceans has tripled in the past two de ...
Loading Comments...