Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer worldwide, in the past several decades the incidence of colorectal cancer has decreased, yet the overall mortality of colorectal cancer has remained unchanged. It is important to not only come up with new treatment options for colorectal cancer, but in the meantime also find ways to make current treatment regimes more effective. Nutritional intervention is used as a method to combat disease by itself as well as in tandem with current cancer treatments. Forms of nutritional intervention include long-term caloric restriction, short-term starvation, intermittent fasting, and time restricted eating.
My research focuses on optimizations cancer patients can make to their lifestyles prior to and during chemotherapy to increase the efficacy of treatment. There are many ongoing clinical trials that involve the use of nutritional intervention and vitamin supplementation that have shown to have an impact on cancer outcomes (clinicaltrials.gov). Preliminary pre-clinical results have driven the exploration of nutritional-based intervention clinical trials but the molecular mechanisms of why these interventions have an impact on cancer remain largely unknown. Proteomics is a technique that can be utilized to better our understanding of the mechanisms involved. Quantitative proteomics studies have been developed and refined in the past decade, making them a very powerful tool for understanding protein changes due to different biological conditions.
Taken as a whole, these studies look at the proteomic changes that occur when in vitro colorectal cancer tumor mimics are subject to nutritional intervention prior to chemotherapy. The results of these studies have implication in the treatment of cancer, as nutritional intervention is easily implementable in the clinic.