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A photo of U professor Margot Cleary.

Margot Cleary, an associate professor at the University s Hormel Institute, will study how body weight might affect the development of prostate tumors.

Prostate cancer and eating less

by University News Service

From eNews, March 4, 2004

Can a man reduce his chances of getting prostate cancer if he cuts calories? A University of Minnesota researcher has undertaken a three-year study that may help answer that question. According to the National Cancer Institute, more than one-fourth of all men diagnosed with cancer each year have prostate cancer. Margot Cleary, an associate professor at the University's Hormel Institute, will study how body weight might affect the development of prostate tumors. Margot Cleary, an associate professor at the University's Hormel Institute, will use male mice to determine how body weight might affect the development of prostate tumors. The study builds on earlier work by Cleary and her colleagues in which they found that breast tumors were less likely to develop when calorie intake was intermittently restricted. "Because the development of both prostate and breast cancers is mediated by hormones and characterized by long latency periods, the expectation is that this intervention will have similar preventive effects," says Cleary. Other researchers have shown that caloric restriction over a long period of time can slow aging and reduce the incidence of several types of malignancies, but their studies involved severe calorie restriction regimens, says Cleary. In contrast, her method of intermittent caloric restriction--which calls fora moderate reduction in calorie intake at select times--could have a stronger effect on tumor development. The U.S. Department of Defense's Prostate Cancer Research Program gave Cleary a $375,000 grant to conduct the new study. "The results should assist in identifying prevention and treatment strategies related to lifestyle factors," she says. To learn more about Cleary's research, see http://www.hi.umn.edu/mpc_lab.html. For information about the Hormel Institute and other anti-cancer research conducted there, see http://www.hi.umn.edu.

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