Mentor: Dr. Brent Reynolds
College of Medicine
"I became involved in cancer research after a family member passed away from the illness. I wanted to learn more about cancer as I found it mysterious and frightening. The more I learned and became involved, the more fascinating I found cells, especially cancer cells."
Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience
- Metastatic Breast Cancer
- Glioblastoma Multiforme
Medical Journal Society
Sigma Nu Fraternity
- Footprints Buddy and Support Program
- Dance Marathon
- Relay for Life
Hobbies and Interests
- Running stadiums
An Exploration of the Effects of the Cancerna Diet Against Metastatic Breast Cancer
Most conventional cancer treatments are effective against only one subpopulation of tumor cells, fast-dividing cells, but impotent in treating other subtypes, specifically slow-dividing cells. Slow-dividing cancer cells often develop resistance to most cancer treatments through repeated exposure. Therefore, therapies aimed at targeting slow-dividing cancer cells could ultimately reduce the rate of tumor growth and risk of recurrence. Tumor cells rely upon glucose for energy and are unable to metabolize ketone bodies efficiently. Results obtained from our previous studies demonstrated that a customized ketogenic diet (mKD) decreased the proliferation rate of glioblastoma cells in a clinically relevant preclinical animal model by minimizing the amount of glucose available to tumor cells, yet providing healthy cells with energy in the form of ketone bodies. While fast-dividing cells rely upon glycolysis for the production of energy, and are theoretically very sensitive to a glucose-restricting diet, slow-dividing cells rely primarily on oxidative phosphorylation and may not be as sensitive since they exhibit a different regulation of mitochondrial proteins. The objective of this proposal is to examine the effect of the mKD on the growth of slow and fast-dividing glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) cancer cells.