The science of tailoring a person’s diet to the individual’s genetic makeup may be the key to reducing cancer risk and influencing tumor behavior, according to a presentation today at the annual meeting of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry in San Diego. Known as Nutrigenomics, the burgeoning science is examining the role that a number of genes and genetic variations play in the relationship between diet and cancer.
About 30%-35% of all cancers are related to individuals’ dietary habits, but not all people respond identically to the same types and amounts of foods, making it difficult to create a “cancer-fighting” diet that will work for everyone. A person’s genetic makeup can affect the way their body interacts with food in numerous ways. For example, the ability to absorb or metabolize certain nutrients can be compromised if a particular genetic variation is present in a person’s DNA. These genetic variations can also affect how much of a nutrient is needed to produce an anti-tumorigenic effect—while one person may be benefit from eating a single clove of garlic every day, another person may need to eat two or three cloves or more to get the same health effect.
Studying these genetic variations “helps explain why there are inconsistencies in the studies of antioxidants and other nutrients’ abilities to help fight cancer,” says John Milner, PhD, of the National Cancer Institute and lead presenter. Milner and his group believe that nutrigenomics, which is generally defined as the application of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics to human nutrition, will play a crucial role not only in the development of preemptive approaches to reduce cancer, but also in the management of those who have already been diagnosed with cancer.
Saturday, July 14, 2007, 5:30–9:30 pm, Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, Randle Room
John A. Milner, PhD, Chief of the National Science Research Group in the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Prevention in Rockville, MD.
The 59th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry is July 15-19 at the San Diego Convention Center. The meeting attracts 20,000 physicians, scientists and other professionals interested in laboratory science and medicine. More than 200 educational sessions will present the latest information on a wide range of topics in science and medicine.
Interviews with Dr. Milner may be arranged by contacting Peter Patterson, (619) 525-6225, (800) 892-1400 x1718,or firstname.lastname@example.org