David Turner, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), is a co-principal investigator (co-PI) of a trial just opened at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center that aims to determine whether a decrease in advanced glycation end produces (AGEs) through dietary and exercise intervention can improve quality of life and decrease tumor recurrence in both African American and European American patients with prostate cancer. Mahtabbuddin Ahmed, Ph.D., at South Carolina State University (SCSU) is also a co-PI.
Although AGEs have been studied in other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, this is among the first trials to look at AGEs in cancer survivors.
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which have been linked to many chronic diseases, including cancer, build up in the body from birth due to normal metabolism but are often higher in those eating the high-fat, high-sugar, highly processed foods characteristic of the Western diet. AGE levels have been linked to lifestyle, such as diet and exercise, and lifestyle changes were shown in previous studies at MUSC to drive a reduction in AGEs in breast cancer patients. AGEs may also yield insight into health care disparities. For example, black men are three times more likely to develop prostate cancer than white men and may have higher AGE levels due to low income, poor diet and obesity.
Funding for the trial was recently awarded to Dr. Turner and Dr. Ahmed through an NIH/NCI U54 study led by Judith Salley-Guydon, Ph.D. at SCSU and Marvella Ford, Ph.D. at MUSC.
Dr. Turner’s research explores the impact of environmental agents on transcription factors that regulate normal cellular differentiation/function and aberrantly drive disease states, including carcinogenesis.