New Study Explores the Link Between Vegan Diet and Breast Cancer Treatment

Vegan Bowl

The Highland Hospital in Rochester, New York, announced a progressive new study to assess the effects of a plant-based diet on patients with advanced breast cancer. The study is part of the hospital’s Weight Management & Lifestyle Center – a newly funded pilot program to explore the potential links between nutrition and cancer.

Although millions of dollars are funneled into breast cancer research each year, little research involves human subjects, and none have focused solely on nutrition. Dr. Thomas M. Campbell II, medical director of the hospital’s Weight Management Center, said, “To my knowledge, we have never had a nutrition intervention comprised of a whole dietary shift in advanced cancer patients, in any type of cancer.” This study will be the first of its kind, using the scientific method to assess nutrition instead of medication in human cancer patients.

Researchers will examine thirty women experiencing advanced stages of breast cancer over a period of six weeks as they undergo traditional cancer treatments. Twenty patients will be put on a whole food, plant-based diet, and the remaining ten will serve as the control group, with no change to their diets. The researchers will be looking for any changes in the patient’s quality of life, asking how they feel and if they experience any changes in their symptoms. PET-CT scans will also be utilized to measure the activity of the patients’ tumors.

Box of Veggies

This study, along with future plant-based nutrition studies at the Weight Management Center, was made possible due to a $1.5 million donation from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. This non-profit organization is dedicated to providing whole food, plant-based resources and education to the public and medical field.

The hospital is thrilled to accept this donation and venture into nutrition-based research. Cindy Becker, the Vice President and COO of Highland, remarked, “This funding and research will be crucial for patients and their families both here in Rochester and beyond. We are both honored and excited that Highland can provide a home for these potentially groundbreaking studies.”

The results of this study could pave the way for alternative research involving plant-based nutrition. Researchers and doctors alike are hopeful. With positive results, the medical field may see a shift away from medicine and toward more holistic, plant-based treatments.

Photo credit @highlandhosp/Instagram