Physician Profile: Gordon Saxe, M.D., Ph.D., Innovative Research on Diet and Prostate Cancer
When Gordon Saxe was just out of college, his father was diagnosed with advanced cancer. In searching for a way to help, Dr. Saxe met and interviewed cancer survivors who had experienced remissions of their cancers after adopting plant-based diets, stress reduction, and other healthy lifestyle changes. Fascinated by what he had witnessed, he embarked on a lifelong journey of discovery that took him to both graduate school and medical school.
Along the path, he shared much of what he had learned with his father. “Dad remained incredibly optimistic, adopted some of my suggested changes, and lived many years longer than his doctors had predicted,” Dr. Saxe said. During a period when Dr. Saxe’s father was particularly strict about his diet, he even experienced a remission of the cancer (confirmed by biopsy). “His experience is one of the reasons I’m so passionate about this topic and optimistic about its potential for patients,” Dr. Saxe added.
A faculty member at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, Dr. Saxe has been conducting groundbreaking research on the power of a plant-based diet—in combination with body-mind techniques such as meditation, yoga, and t’ai chi—in controlling the spread of prostate cancer. He is also examining the role that a plant-based diet may play in altering how genes work to trigger cancer growth.
“It’s exciting to see how much control people can gain over their health by making simple changes in their diets and lifestyles. It’s also extremely gratifying to know that this work is helping to answer the perplexing questions about the nature of malignancy,” Dr. Saxe said.
Dr. Saxe spoke about the effects of plant-based diets on disease progression in prostate cancer at The Cancer Project’s 2006 Cancer and Nutrition Symposium and PCRM’s 2007 Nutrition in Clinical Practice continuing medical education seminar, and he has been answering reader’s questions about diet and cancer in his “Ask the Doctor” column in The Cancer Project News for the past year.