New study in humans will examine whether a ketogenic diet can improve cancer therapy with P13K drugs.

The effectiveness of cancer therapy with P13K inhibitors such as Zydelig from Gilead, and Aliqopa from Bayer, can be reduced due to the interference of an insulin response mechanism triggered when the drug interrupts and then sets off an alternative spike in insulin production. A recent study published in Nature found that a ketogenic diet combined with P13K therapy can prevent this undesired pathway from occurring.

A ketogenic diet includes high fat, adequate protein and very low carbohydrates. When the mice received P13K inhibitors and a ketogenic diet, blood glucose levels were lowered. It was also found that an SGLT2 drug that blocked absorption of glucose in the kidneys also had the same effect. 

Now leading oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee has indicated that he will be conduction a study in conjunction with Bayer to test the combination of a ketogenic diet with P13K therapy in 40 patients. If similar results as those observed in mice are obtained with humans, the future of P13K inhibitors could be quite promising.