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JMIR Res Protoc. 2016 Jul 29;5(3):e157. doi: 10.2196/resprot.5804.

Impact of Elimination or Reduction of Dietary Animal Proteins on Cancer Progression and Survival: Protocol of an Online Pilot Cohort Study.

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Association for Research and Support of Health Promoting Nutrition during Cancer Disease, Vienna, Austria.



Current evidence suggests that the incidence of cancer is low in vegan populations, and experimental studies have revealed a significant role of dietary proteins in cancer development and progression. However, little data currently exists regarding the effect of a plant-based diet on the progression of diagnosed cancer.


The main objective of this study is to determine if a reduction or total elimination of animal protein from the diet can positively influence the outcome of an existing cancer and, in addition to standard oncological therapies, increase remission rates.


The primary aim of this online study is to test the effect on remission rates in cancer patients (primary outcome) with distinct self-selected dietary patterns (omnivore, lacto-ovo-vegetarian, vegan), and allow for an estimation of the effect size. Secondary outcomes are tumor behavior, relapse-free interval, therapies, therapy tolerability and side-effects, comorbidities, medication, quality of life, acceptance, and feasibility of the selected diet. Safety concerns exist for vegan diets (especially in cancer patients) and the study will carefully monitor for deterioration of health, tumor progression, or malnutrition. Furthermore, the study will evaluate the online portal as a study platform (technical and safety aspects, and sequence of displayed questionnaires) as well as the validity of self-reported and online-generated data.


The study was performed between April, 2015 and June, 2016, and a preliminary evaluation of safety aspects was undertaken after June, 2016. Primary and secondary outcomes will be evaluated when the final patients complete the study in December, 2016.


This study will reveal information about the effects of dietary patterns on cancer disease and progression. The methodology of the study addresses several aspects and limitations of nutrition studies in cancer patients, such as precision of nutrition data, acceptance criteria, online methodology, and safety aspects.

CLINICALTRIAL: NCT02437474; (Archived by WebCite at


cancer; diet; disease outcome; neoplasms; omnivore; remission; vegans; vegetarians

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