A recent pilot study conducted at UCSF examined the effects of dramatic lifestyle change on gene expression within the prostate, New Scientist reports. The lifestyle changes included healthy eating, moderate exercise, stress management, and psychotherapy. For the study, biopsies were taken before a lifestyle change, and again three months later.
Many genes, including several involved in tumor formation, were less active following the lifestyle changes, while others—including some genes involved in fighting diseases—were more active. The results suggest the mechanism that allows healthier lifestyle choices to help slow the progression and reduce the risk of cancer.
This pilot study will almost certainly lead to newer, larger studies that will determine over longer periods of time whether these changes are actually effective in slowing or preventing cancer, but the results are promising and they open the door to a new wave of research.