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Med Oncol. 2017 May;34(5):72. doi: 10.1007/s12032-017-0930-5. Epub 2017 Mar 28.

Systematic review: isocaloric ketogenic dietary regimes for cancer patients.

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Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ludwig-Maximilian-University Clinic, Marchioninistr. 15, 81377, Munich, Germany.
Center for Prevention, Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine, Technical University of Munich Clinic at Rechts der Isar, Uptown M√ľnchen-Campus C, Georg-Brauchle-Ring 56/58, 3rd Floor, 80992, Munich, Germany.
Department of Biology, Humboldt University, Invalidenstr. 42, 10115, Berlin, Germany.
University Clinic of Jena, Medizinische Klinik II, Am Klinikum 1, 07747, Jena, Germany.


The efficacy and benefits of ketogenic diets (KD) have recently been gaining worldwide and remain a controversial topic in oncology. This systematic review therefore presents and evaluates the clinical evidence on isocaloric KD dietary regimes and reveals that evidence supporting the effects of isocaloric ketogenic dietary regimes on tumor development and progression as well as reduction in side effects of cancer therapy is missing. Furthermore, an array of potential side effects should be carefully considered before applying KD to cancer patients. In regard to counseling cancer patients considering a KD, more robust and consistent clinical evidence is necessary before the KD can be recommended for any single cancer diagnosis or as an adjunct therapy.


Cancer; Cancer diet; Ketogenic diet; Low carbohydrate; Nutrition; Oncology

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