Tumors that start in one part of the body can often spread to other parts.
That's because growing tumors produce acid which destroys nearby tissue and allows the tumor to spread.
Dr. Marty Pagel says, "If we can combat that acid that the tumors are producing, that could lead to further cures for cancer, so one way of doing that is with baking soda."
Baking soda, by its very nature, neutralizes acids. And it's become the focal point of Dr. Pagel's cancer-fighting research.
"We've tested that type of therapy in a number of animal models that have different cancers, and we've seen a decrease in the number of tumors they have, and it prolongs the survival," says Dr. Pagel.
But before you get any ideas about trying this at home, researchers caution: It's not a one-size-fits-all solution.
Dr. Pagel says, "certain patients have different kidney functions and clear that baking soda from their system at different rates, and so it becomes very dangerous if you're taking too much baking soda, it can burn out their kidneys or their bladder, or if they're not taking enough, there is no therapeutic effect."
Finding that right balance for each patient is what Dr. Pagel's new research will involve.
Thanks to a new MRI technique that allows personalized monitoring of acid levels in a patient, he hopes to pin-point just what effect baking soda has on cancer tumors, one patient at a time. "In fact, we like to call that 'personalized medicine,' if we can tailor the medicine for each individual patient, then we can have a personalized cure."