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Prostate Cancer Lab #36: Starving Tumors with a Therapeutic Diet (John Chant)

The hypothesis is that you lower an amino acid, and that starves the tumor.” 

– John Chant

Meeting Summary

Advanced cancer patients are looking for any boost they can get through lifestyle behaviors (e.g., exercise, meditation) or diet to complement their main medical treatments (e.g., drugs, radiation, surgery). Food can strengthen their defenses against their cancer (e.g., their immune system) or even possibly attack their cancer cells. Cancer cells are different from normal cells, and there is a search for ways to starve the cancer cells while supporting normal cells.

Filtricine is a biotech startup founded by researchers who came from Stanford to see if they could starve cancer cells with a restricted diet. They are developing a nutrient formulation which attempts to identify and exploit cancer cells’ metabolic vulnerabilities (the chemical processes that produce energy and basic materials needed for survival). Their diet eliminates some amino acids that cancer cells need but aren’t needed by normal cells.

How far along is the Filtricine product?

It’s very early days. Filtricine is recruiting patients for an observational trial where they look at how patients respond to their diet. They use each patient as a control by switching them on and off their treatment (a “crossover trial”) to see how they respond. They have tested about 20 patients so far. A few patients seem to have responded.  

What are the ideal characteristics of a dietary product that would help cancer patients?

In the discussion which followed, patients shared their views on the ideal characteristics of a dietary product. It should…

  • Taste good
  • Be healthy
  • Be taken for a short time, or intermittently
  • Support, not replace treatment • Be personalized (e.g., medical situation, vegan, other dietary preferences)
  • Be easy to transition to
  • Meet taste expectations (e.g., chicken noodle soup)
  • Be supported by scientific evidence
  • Be supported by treating physicians


For further information about Filtricine or to volunteer to try their diet, please contact John Chant at

The information and opinions expressed on this website or platform, or during discussions and presentations (both verbal and written) are not intended as health care recommendations or medical advice by Prostate Cancer Lab, its principals, presenters, participants, or representatives for any medical treatment, product, or course of action. You should always consult a doctor about your specific situation before pursuing any healthcare program, treatment, product or other course of action that might affect your health.

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