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Med Oncol. 2020 Jan 11;37(2):14. doi: 10.1007/s12032-020-1337-2.

Ketogenic diets in medical oncology: a systematic review with focus on clinical outcomes.

Author information

1
Department of Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology, Leopoldina Hospital Schweinfurt, Robert-Koch-Straße 10, 97422, Schweinfurt, Germany. rainer_klement@gmx.de.
2
Department of Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology, Leopoldina Hospital Schweinfurt, Robert-Koch-Straße 10, 97422, Schweinfurt, Germany.

Abstract

Preclinical data provide evidence for synergism between ketogenic diets (KDs) and other oncological therapies. The aim of this systematic review was to summarize data from clinical studies that have tested KDs along with other treatments used within medical oncology. The PubMed database was searched using the key words "ketogenic" AND ("cancer" OR "glioblastoma"). A secondary search was conducted by screening the reference lists of relevant articles on this topic. Relevant studies for this review were defined as studies in which KDs were used complementary to surgery, radio-, chemo-, or targeted therapy and at least one of the following four outcomes were reported: (i) Overall survival (OS); (ii) progression-free survival (PFS); (iii) local control rate; (iv) body composition changes. Twelve papers reporting on 13 clinical studies were identified. Nine studies were prospective and six had a control group, but only two were randomized. KD prescription varied widely between studies and was described only rudimentarily in most papers. Adverse events attributed to the diet were rare and only minor (grade 1-2) except for one possibly diet-related grade 4 event. Studies reporting body composition changes found beneficial effects of KDs in both overweight and frail patient populations. Beneficial effects of KDs on OS and/or PFS were found in four studies including one randomized controlled trial. Studies in high-grade glioma patients were not sufficiently powered to prove efficacy. Evidence for beneficial effects of KDs during cancer therapy is accumulating, but more high-quality studies are needed to assess the overall strength of evidence.

KEYWORDS:

Cancer; Evidence; High-grade glioma; Ketone bodies; Metabolic therapy; Skepticism

PMID:
31927631
DOI:
10.1007/s12032-020-1337-2

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