Nima Sharifi, MD | Ashley Holly, PhD

Lerner Research Institute


Barbara Kerscher VeloSano Pilot Award in memory of Robert D. Kerscher in honor of Dr. Lilyana Angelov

Elucidating the Metabolic Impact of Isocaloric, Controlled, Mediterranean-Type Diets in Treatment-Naïve Men with Prostate Cancer on Active Surveillance (DINE study)

In addition to receiving the grim diagnosis of prostate cancer (PCa), many patients with PCa will eventually carry the burden of metabolic disturbances that occur with systemic hormonal therapies and pose a severe risk to their health. Although numerous factors can impact tumor biology, modifiable ones such as diet have recently come to the forefront. There is an absence of robust, conclusive, evidence to define what patients should consume to counter metabolic adverse effects of hormonal therapies. As a starting point, we plan to rigorously test the impact of two dietary interventions (low-fat and low-carb Mediterranean diets) on the metabolism of patients whose physicians have a high suspicion of PCa and who plan to start on active surveillance (AS) in the absence of hormonal therapy. Patients will be provided with all meals throughout the course of the dietary interventions, with each diet lasting for ~5 weeks. The first diet will occur prior to a diagnostic biopsy and the second prior to the first confirmatory biopsy. At specific time points, blood, fecal, metabolic, and other assessments will be captured to investigate the impact of diet on metabolism. The results of this study will help fulfill an urgent and unmet clinical need to understand the role of diet on host and tumor metabolism. Further, the controlled portion of the dietary intervention will serve as a model for patients to translate such dietary changes into their lifestyle once the study has concluded.


We want to figure out how food affects prostate cancer, both in the risk and development of prostate cancer in patients. This research will focus on determining the fine details that exist within diet to help us see its relationship to prostate cancer. We will be focusing on two types of diets, a low carbohydrate-based diet and a low-fat based diet.