Some problems are more difficult to influence than others. I have this mental image of nutrition as comparable to having your car serviced. Treat your car with respect and you will have to be unlucky for it to break down. If you ignore servicing, say you never top up the brake fluid, eventually the brakes will fail. If you end up writing the car off, say by being unable to stop at a roundabout, there is no point going back to the wreck, pouring some brake fluid in to the master cylinder and expecting the car to become functional again. It won't.
Some people get broken, I suppose all of us do eventually. But it seems improbable that diet could reverse the degree of "broken-ness" represented by cancer, one of the most serious of metabolic train wrecks. But there are reports of remission. Spontaneous remission is one thing. Engineering that spontaneity is quite another.
Can it be done?
Kasha Mikoda has left a comment on the Praise the Lard post. It's a personal account of the management of her father's non-small cell carcinoma of the lung, with mets. By Kwasniewski. It's there for the reading. Non-small cell cancer includes squamous cell, large cell and adenocarcinoma, prognosis guarded.
Her comment brought to mind an old article I read some time ago about the nutritional management of lung cancer, here.
And of course there are always the two children described by Nebeling.
In terms of an evidence base, case reports in peer reviewed publications carry little weight and non published case reports are just off the radar. But then getting a prospective trial set up to provide an evidence base, even a pilot study, is fraught with difficulties. For a flavour of the current state of difficulty anyone can browse the article which started Kasha off on her journey to Kwasniewski. Attempts at collaboration with mainstream medicine by Kwasniewski never got off the ground.
After that there is patient compliance! Look at this quote from Dr Schmidt in the article cited by Kasha:
Four of the patients were so ill, they died within the first week of the study. Others, says Schmidt, dropped out because they found it hard to stick to the no-sweets diet: "We didn't expect this to be such a big problem, but a considerable number of patients left the study because they were unable or unwilling to renounce soft drinks, chocolate and so on."
Of course these people were end stage and probably considered themselves beyond hope, so why not enjoy whatever food they could manage... But for the life of me I can't see why one has to be absolutely at the end stage of cancer before it is considered ethical to advise that you should stop eating sweets, especially when a PET scan confirms that the cancer lights up like a... Well, like a cancer feasting on glucose in a PET scanner.