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Int J Prev Med. 2017 May 25;8:35. doi: 10.4103/2008-7802.207035. eCollection 2017.

Tumor Cells Growth and Survival Time with the Ketogenic Diet in Animal Models: A Systematic Review.

Author information

1
Food Security Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.
2
Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutrition and Food Science, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.
3
Cancer Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
4
Department of Statistics, Faculty of Sciences, Zabol University, Zabol, Iran.

Abstract

Recently, interest in targeted cancer therapies via metabolic pathways has been renewed with the discovery that many tumors become dependent on glucose uptake during anaerobic glycolysis. Also the inability of ketone bodies metabolization due to various deficiencies in mitochondrial enzymes is the major metabolic changes discovered in malignant cells. Therefore, administration of a ketogenic diet (KD) which is based on high in fat and low in carbohydrates might inhibit tumor growth and provide a rationale for therapeutic strategies. So, we conducted this systematic review to assess the effects of KD on the tumor cells growth and survival time in animal studies. All databases were searched from inception to November 2015. We systematically searched the PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholars, Science Direct and Cochrane Library according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement. To assess the quality of included studies we used SYRCLE's RoB tool. 268 articles were obtained from databases by primary search. Only 13 studies were eligible according to inclusion criteria. From included studies, 9 articles indicate that KD had a beneficial effect on tumor growth and survival time. Tumor types were included pancreatic, prostate, gastric, colon, brain, neuroblastoma and lung cancers. In conclusions, although studies in this field are rare and inconsistence, recent findings have demonstrated that KD can potentially inhibit the malignant cell growth and increase the survival time. Because of differences physiology between animals and humans, future studies in cancer patients treated with a KD are needed.

KEYWORDS:

Cancer; ketogenic diet; survival; tumor growth

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