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      Cancer Treatment With the Ketogenic Diet: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Animal Studies

      systematic-review

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      Frontiers in Nutrition

      Frontiers Media S.A.

      ketogenic diet, tumor, meta-analysis, survival time, animal studies

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          Abstract

          Background: The ketogenic diet (KD) has been reported to play an important role in the development of cancer by an abundance of pre-clinical experiments; however, their conclusions have been controversial. We therefore aimed to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of animal studies evaluating the effects of KD on cancer.

          Methods: Relevant studies were collected by searching PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science. Outcome measures comprised tumor weight, tumor volume, and survival time. Meta-analysis was performed using the random-effect model according to heterogeneity.

          Results: The search resulted in 1,254 references, of which 38 were included in the review and 17 included in the meta-analysis. Pooled results indicated that KD supplementation significantly prolonged survival time [standardized mean difference (SMD) = 1.76, 95% CI (0.58, 2.94), p = 0.003], and reduced tumor weight [SMD = −2.459, 95% CI (−4.188, −0.730), p = 0.027] and tumor volume [SMD = −0.759, 95% CI (−1.349, −0.168), p = 0.012]. Meta-regression and subgroup analysis results suggested that KD supplementation at a ratio of 4:1 was associated with remarkable prolongation of survival time in animals with limited tumor types.

          Conclusion: In summary, the pre-clinical evidence pointed toward an overall anti-tumor effect of the KD in animals studies currently available with limited tumor types.

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          Most cited references 61

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          Cancer statistics, 2019

          Each year, the American Cancer Society estimates the numbers of new cancer cases and deaths that will occur in the United States and compiles the most recent data on cancer incidence, mortality, and survival. Incidence data, available through 2015, were collected by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program; the National Program of Cancer Registries; and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries. Mortality data, available through 2016, were collected by the National Center for Health Statistics. In 2019, 1,762,450 new cancer cases and 606,880 cancer deaths are projected to occur in the United States. Over the past decade of data, the cancer incidence rate (2006-2015) was stable in women and declined by approximately 2% per year in men, whereas the cancer death rate (2007-2016) declined annually by 1.4% and 1.8%, respectively. The overall cancer death rate dropped continuously from 1991 to 2016 by a total of 27%, translating into approximately 2,629,200 fewer cancer deaths than would have been expected if death rates had remained at their peak. Although the racial gap in cancer mortality is slowly narrowing, socioeconomic inequalities are widening, with the most notable gaps for the most preventable cancers. For example, compared with the most affluent counties, mortality rates in the poorest counties were 2-fold higher for cervical cancer and 40% higher for male lung and liver cancers during 2012-2016. Some states are home to both the wealthiest and the poorest counties, suggesting the opportunity for more equitable dissemination of effective cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment strategies. A broader application of existing cancer control knowledge with an emphasis on disadvantaged groups would undoubtedly accelerate progress against cancer.
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            Understanding the Intersections between Metabolism and Cancer Biology

            Transformed cells adapt metabolism to support tumor initiation and progression. Specific metabolic activities can participate directly in the process of transformation or support the biological processes that enable tumor growth. Exploiting cancer metabolism for clinical benefit requires defining the pathways that are limiting for cancer progression and understanding the context specificity of metabolic preferences and liabilities in malignant cells. Progress toward answering these questions is providing new insight into cancer biology and can guide the more effective targeting of metabolism to help patients.
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              Metabolic management of glioblastoma multiforme using standard therapy together with a restricted ketogenic diet: Case Report

              Background Management of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) has been difficult using standard therapy (radiation with temozolomide chemotherapy). The ketogenic diet is used commonly to treat refractory epilepsy in children and, when administered in restricted amounts, can also target energy metabolism in brain tumors. We report the case of a 65-year-old woman who presented with progressive memory loss, chronic headaches, nausea, and a right hemisphere multi-centric tumor seen with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Following incomplete surgical resection, the patient was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme expressing hypermethylation of the MGMT gene promoter. Methods Prior to initiation of the standard therapy, the patient conducted water-only therapeutic fasting and a restricted 4:1 (fat: carbohydrate + protein) ketogenic diet that delivered about 600 kcal/day. The patient also received the restricted ketogenic diet concomitantly during the standard treatment period. The diet was supplemented with vitamins and minerals. Steroid medication (dexamethasone) was removed during the course of the treatment. The patient was followed using MRI and positron emission tomography with fluoro-deoxy-glucose (FDG-PET). Results After two months treatment, the patient's body weight was reduced by about 20% and no discernable brain tumor tissue was detected using either FDG-PET or MRI imaging. Biomarker changes showed reduced levels of blood glucose and elevated levels of urinary ketones. MRI evidence of tumor recurrence was found 10 weeks after suspension of strict diet therapy. Conclusion This is the first report of confirmed GBM treated with standard therapy together with a restricted ketogenic diet. As rapid regression of GBM is rare in older patients following incomplete surgical resection and standard therapy alone, the response observed in this case could result in part from the action of the calorie restricted ketogenic diet. Further studies are needed to evaluate the efficacy of restricted ketogenic diets, administered alone or together with standard treatment, as a therapy for GBM and possibly other malignant brain tumors.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Front Nutr
                Front Nutr
                Front. Nutr.
                Frontiers in Nutrition
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                2296-861X
                09 June 2021
                2021
                : 8
                Affiliations
                Pharmaceutical Department, Hubei Cancer Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology , Wuhan, China
                Author notes

                Edited by: Sylvia Santosa, Concordia University, Canada

                Reviewed by: Slimane Belbraouet, Université de Moncton, Canada; Purna Mukherjee, Boston College, United States

                *Correspondence: Zhu Dai 104076762@ 123456qq.com

                This article was submitted to Clinical Nutrition, a section of the journal Frontiers in Nutrition

                Article
                10.3389/fnut.2021.594408
                8219874
                Copyright © 2021 Li, Zhang and Dai.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 2, Equations: 0, References: 61, Pages: 13, Words: 7279
                Categories
                Nutrition
                Systematic Review

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