Interview with Dominic D’Agostino, Ph.D


Dr. D’Agostino

As an Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida since 2008, D’Agostino teaches students of the Morsani College of Medicine and the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology, with a focus on such topics as neuropharmacology, medical biochemistry, cell metabolism, and signaling. In his capacities as a researcher, Dominic D’Agostino enjoys support from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Department of Defense (DoD), the Alzheimer’s Association, and other entities for investigations into oxygen toxicity, ketogenic diets, cancer, and metabolic/neuroprotective strategies.  His latest work is on hyperbaric oxygen therapy for cancer.


Question: Do you believe cancer research is largely off-track?

Dr. D’Agostino: Yes, the time, money and resources invested into cancer research are not saving lives and this is a problem largely due to viewing cancer has a disease of genetic origin.   Another problem is that the accepted standard care consisting of cytotoxic chemotherapy and radiation often does more harm than good to the cancer patient.


Question: Do you believe cancer is a disease of metabolism?

Dr. D’Agostino: Yes, most cancers result from environmental and lifestyle factors that promote cellular stress and progressive mitochondrial damage.  Mitochondrial damage impairs energy metabolism.   The fidelity of the genome is tightly correlated with stable energy (ATP) generation from the mitochondria, and failure to maintain cellular energy triggers the activation of cancer genes.


Question: How does hyperbaric oxygen therapy affect cancer cells?

Dr. D’Agostino: The direct effect of hyperbaric oxygen on cancer cells is largely unknown, but evidence suggests that cancer cells overproduce reactive oxygen species (ROS) in response to elevated levels of oxygen.  The general consensus is that hyperbaric oxygen can reverse tumor hypoxia, and hypoxia has been shown to drive tumor progression and metastatic processes.  In addition, cancer cells have elevated levels of ROS, but also have a finite capacity to buffer excess ROS production.   Many toxic chemotherapy drugs work by augmenting ROS production, which overwhelms the antioxidant capacity of cancer cells and kills them.  Hyperbaric oxygen is a natural way to kill cancer cells that are selectively vulnerable to hyperoxia-induced oxidative stress.  Our data suggest that hyperbaric oxygen therapy is most effective for treating cancer when used with a metabolic therapy that lowers blood glucose and elevates blood ketone levels.


Question: What cancer therapies do you think have the most promise?

Dr. D’Agostino: Cancer cells are genetically heterogeneous, but almost all express the same metabolic phenotype, which is lactate production in the presence of oxygen (Warburg effect).    Metabolic therapies like the restricted ketogenic diet exploit the Warburg effect and can be used as a stand-alone therapy or combined with other therapies like hyperbaric oxygen or cancer-specific metabolic inhibitors.


Question: What avenues of experimentation would you like to see explored with respect to cancer in the future?

Dr. D’Agostino: Therapeutic ketosis and hyperbaric oxygen offer a nontoxic approach to cancer management, especially when combined.  Therapeutic ketosis can be achieved with a ketogenic diet and ketone supplements (ketone ester or ketone salts) and this makes it possible to achieved sustained hypoglycemia because the ketones function as an alternative fuel source.  Normal health cells readily adapt to using fatty acids and ketone bodies for fuel, but cancer cells lack this metabolic flexibility.  Nontoxic metabolic therapies and hyperbaric oxygen therapy exploits the overlapping metabolic and oxidative vulnerability of cancer cells.  Our laboratory is focused on validating this approach to cancer management in pre-clinical studies and moving these nontoxic therapies into the clinic.

The 1 cause 1 cure foundation thanks Dr. D’Agostino for his time and efforts.




11 thoughts on “Interview with Dominic D’Agostino, Ph.D

  1. Sonia N Lee

    Do you believe there can be a connection between hormones & tumors? (Colon polyps, menigioma, PCOS, bumps on necks). Family HX of breast cancer. Severe concern of possible return tumor or develop ovarian etc cancer.

    • Travis Christofferson Post author

      Hormones have been shown to play a role in many cancer although the exact mechanisms remains unknown in most cases. From the metabolic perspective there are many thing you can do for prevention.

  2. linda

    Hi, my name is linda D”Agostino, really, not kidding, and i am a 64 yr old cancer patient…I was diafonoised with stage 3 lung cancer, small cell carcanoma in 2011. I out of shock and fear did go for chemo and radiation, I however DID NOT FINISH MY treatments, because as soon as i was told i had cancer and given an oncoligst’s name my family mde me start taking thc cannaboid oil, by the time i had my first treatrments of chemo and radiation, a scan showed my tumors already were shrinking. By the second round of treatments my hair had already fallen out, and the 3rd and last treatment i went for my hair was growing back already.. I did however develope a total body rash from all the chemo drugs and i refused the rest of treatment because i was in the hospital for the rash and an asthma attack, and when they did a scan before i went home they told me i was cancer free, there were NO more tumors.. i have been going for my scans for a year and a half since my diagnosis and am cancer free from the oil treatment..I feel great have not been sick with anything since…I do however have hypoglycemia since i’m in my 20’s and and am very bad with my eating…..I find any kind of reaserch that does not include drugs fascinating. keep up the good work….I am still on oil mantinence and it’s wonderful……thank you

    • Travis Christofferson Post author

      Linda, that is wonderful to hear! If you have any other questions Dr. Seyfried and Ellen Davis have wonderful resources. One aspect of the metabolic/dietary therapy is the fact you always have a preventive tool. I wish you the best!

  3. Bonnie Birkel

    I am using this therapy. I was diagnosed with leukemia in early March. White blood cell count growth was rapid. With this therapy I have stopped growth and am now reversing white blood cell count. It is still early, but the results are extremely inspiring.

  4. Richard Iliffe

    I am trying to obtain details of Dr Youn Hee Ko’s formulation of 3 bromopyruvate, as mentioned in Prof. Pederson’s webcast & Pro Seyfrieds book. Can anyone help ?

    • Travis Christofferson Post author

      There is no way to get the formulation right now. It is protected by a patent owned by Dr. Ko. See it working tirelessly to get it into clinical trials as we speak.

  5. Mary Springer

    I was 66 when I found I had 3C ovarian cancer. At that time I had debalking surgery and chemo. I was cancer free(?) for 9 months an then had a course of chemo which I did not complete due to side effects. I recently finished a month of avastin and taxol. All said, I am doing well, even though I had a metastasized brain tumor last fall. In these last 3 years In have read many things, have switched to a nearly raw diet, and have tried other alternative therapies. I keep believing that I will find the thing that will give me more time. Ketogenic diet makes much sense to me but I have not yet figured out how to exactly do it.
    Until then I’m doing Atkins with green smoothies. Also have started CBD-RSHO BLUE , a constituent of hemp oil. I really don’t know if I am on the right road.
    I would any thoughts.
    Thank you,

    • Travis Christofferson Post author

      Hi Mary,
      There are lots of resources out there. One of the best is the Charlie foundation for ketogenic therapies. They have nutritionists with lots of experience. Also, there are many books, like cancer as a metabolic disease, by Dr. Seyfried that give general guidelines. I hope that helps.

  6. Don Urquhart

    I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma just before Christmas and do not want to do chemo.A friend told me about the keto diet and have been on it for little over a week.I have not been able to find any references to this type of cancer and natural healing.There are a few other things I plan on trying as well.They have worked on other cancers. Thanks Don

  7. Pingback: Insulin resistance reversal, carb cravings and cancer elimination solutions through the Keto Diet | Epic Seeker

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