Baking Soda Treatment Benefits Leukemia Patients

by Colleen Fleiss on Oct 29 2020 1:45 AM

Baking Soda Treatment Benefits Leukemia Patients
In leukemia patients, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda/bicarbonate of soda) reprograms T cells to resist the immune-suppressing effects of cancer cells, driving leukemia relapse after stem cell transplants, stated new research.
The study lays the foundation to test baking soda as a safe and simple therapy to reduce leukemia relapse rates and improve treatment outcomes.

Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation is a form of stem cell transplant that can cure blood cancers such as acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

However, complete response rates can be as low as 17% after 100 days, mainly because leukemia will frequently return.

There is a pressing need for methods that can boost stem cell transplants' anticancer effects, but researchers haven't fully understood why donated T cells often fail to finish off tumors.

By analyzing mouse models of leukemia and T cells from patients before and after transplantation, Franziska Uhl and colleagues revealed that leukemia cells suppressed the metabolic activities and the spread of donated T cells by secreting lactic acid. The lactic acid acidified the cellular environment and interfered with glucose metabolism.

A clinical formulation named bicaNorm reversed T cells' suppressive effects in 10 transplant recipients with relapsed AML.

Trials with larger groups of patients to better determine the long-term benefits of sodium bicarbonate for recipients of stem cell transplants are needed.