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October 4, 1965

Special Diets Said to Inhibit Melanoma Growth

JAMA. 1965;194(1):A45-A46. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090140135061

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Diets limited in phenylalanine and tyrosine have selectively inhibited melanoma growth, caused marked regression of lesions, and prevented further metastases in patients with advanced disease, according to a pathologist at the University of Southern California.

Currently, the diet limited in protein content is being tried in patients with less advanced disease.

"By blocking the action of the oxidative enzyme tyrosinase, we may have found the 'Achilles heel' of pigmented melanoma," Harry Demopoulos, MD, told The Journal.

Eight Patients Treated  Deficiency of phenylalanine and tyrosine in the diet inhibits tyrosinase, reducing cellular oxidation of dihydroxyphenylalanine to melanin by 50%. This cripples the respiratory cycle and reproduction of the melanocyte ( in earlier in vitro or in vivo experiments, Dr. Demopoulos found that tyrosinase was essential to respiration in melanocytes, as well as the production of the pigment, melanin).Eight stage 3 patients with melanoma were treated on an outpatient basis using a

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