User Tools

Site Tools


Fasting or Ketogenic Diet has Anti-Cancer, Anti-Proliferative, and Anti-Oxidative Effects


Saira Riaz 2019/08/04
Marcos Reyes 2019/08/04

The Warburg Effect: How Does it Benefit Cancer Cells? normally I would use DOI link, but it leads to non-free article.

→ Does not appear to have COI

2018. Ketogenic diet in cancer therapy.

“The Ketogenic Diet (KD), a high-fat/low-carbohydrate/adequate-protein diet, has recently been proposed as an adjuvant therapy in cancer treatment [1]. KDs target the Warburg effect, a biochemical phenomenon in which cancer cells predominantly utilize glycolysis instead of oxidative phosphorylation to produce ATP. Furthermore, some cancers lack the ability to metabolize ketone bodies, due to mitochondrial dysfunction and down-regulation of enzymes necessary for ketone utilization [2]. Thus, the rationale in providing a fat-rich, low-carbohydrate diet in cancer therapy is to reduce circulating glucose levels and induce ketosis such that cancer cells are starved of energy while normal cells adapt their metabolism to use ketone bodies and survive. Furthermore, by reducing blood glucose also levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor, which are important drivers of cancer cell proliferation, drop.”

“…we further focused on optimizing the KD composition to address this issue. We found that an ad libitum KD (8:1) with a fat content of 25% medium-chain triglycerides and 75% long-chain triglycerides produced a stronger anti-tumor effect compared to a KD (8:1) with all long-chain triglycerides, and was as efficacious against neuroblastoma as the above-described KD (2:1) combined with caloric restriction [3]. These results stress the importance of an optimized KD composition to suppress tumor growth and to sensitize tumors to chemotherapy without requiring caloric restriction.”

→ Does not appear to have COI

Cited in this work was the following study:
Beneficial effects of ketogenic diets for cancer patients: a realist review with focus on evidence and confirmation

→ Does not appear to have COI

Fasting Cycles Retard Growth of Tumors and Sensitize a Range of Cancer Cell Types to Chemotherapy 2012

Many promising cancer drugs being developed will require years to become approved by regulatory bodies and, in most cases, will only be effective for a fraction of patients with specific types of cancer. It is therefore important to develop broader, complementary strategies that can be translated rapidly into effective therapies. Two to 4 days of fasting before chemotherapy treatment is safe and protect animals, and possibly humans, against the side effects of chemotherapy.Experiments in simple organisms, human cells, and mice indicated that these effects of fasting were caused by changes inside and outside cells that increased the death of tumor but not normal cells, a process termed differential stress sensitization.

→ Has COI, as one author has a financial interest in KD: “V.D.L. has equity interest in L-Nutra, a company that develops medical food for use by cancer patients”

Role of therapeutic fasting in women health: an overview

“Fasting is a therapeutic tool practiced since millennia by different cultures and medical systems heterogeneously.”
“Fasting has shown to improve the reproductive and mental health. It also prevents as well as ameliorates cancers and musculoskeletal disorders which are common in middle-aged and elderly women.”
“A woman encounters various health issues during both pre- and post-menopausal period.” “Fasting is a nonpharmacological intervention practiced since ancient times by various medical disciplines for broad spectrum of diseases. Although the evidence favors its therapeutic efficacy, it is hardly used in the modern era as an intervention tool. It has been restricted as a religious regimen practiced superstitiously than in a scientific way. Fasting as discussed has a major role to play in women’s health during the various phases of her life. However, there is a need for larger randomized control trials to explain these benefits in a larger level. The present studies available have major limitations such as majority of the studies are preclinical studies and human studies are with lesser sample size. Ethical issues in assigning humans on fasting for longer duration are expressed as a major challenge in conducting fasting trials. The future studies should address this gap by designing medically supervised fasting techniques to extract better evidence. Nevertheless, fasting can be prescribed as a safe medical intervention as well as a lifestyle regimen which can improve women’s health in many folds.”

→ Does not appear to have COI

Fasting and cancer: molecular mechanisms and clinical application

Please use correct quoting, when using sentences from the document:

“Fasting or fasting-mimicking diets (FMDs) lead to wide alterations in growth factors and in metabolite levels, generating environments that can reduce the capability of cancer cells to adapt and survive While fasting is hardly tolerated by patients, both animal and clinical studies show that cycles of low-calorie FMDs are feasible and overall safe. Several clinical trials evaluating the effect of fasting or FMDs on treatment-emergent adverse events and on efficacy outcomes are ongoing. ”

“Notably, as standalone therapies, periodic fasting or FMD cycles would probably show limited efficacy against established tumours. In fact, in mice, fasting or FMDs affect the progression of a number of cancers similarly to chemotherapy, but alone, they rarely match the effect obtained in combination with cancer drugs which can result in cancer- free survival 11,59”

→ However, this article has “competing interests”: “A.N. and I.C. are inventors on three patents of methods for treating cancer by fasting- mimicking diets that are currently under negotiation with L- Nutra Inc. V.D.L. is the founder of L- Nutra Inc.” My guess: Since they cannot patent fasting or a food diet, then the interest will be to negate KD as a stand-alone therapy.

→ Due to COI, the conclusions presented by this article can't be used unless they are not associated with financial advantage. The same for other articles with COI. Please check every article for COI.

Suppression of insulin feedback enhances the efficacy of PI3K inhibitors

“ Mutations in PIK3CA, which encodes the p110a subunit of the insulin-activated phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K), and loss of function mutations in PTEN, which encodes a phosphatase that degrades the phosphoinositide lipids generated by PI3K, are among the most frequent events in human cancers1,2. “
I have no idea what this means, yet, but it sounds important.

→ COI: “L.C.C. is a founder and member of the board of directors of Agios Pharmaceuticals and is a founder and receives research support from Petra Pharmaceuticals. S.M. is a founder and on the board of Vor Pharmaceuticals. These companies are developing novel therapies for cancer. ”

Alternative Fuels for Cancer Cells

“The recent surge of interest in understanding cancer metabolism has identified several alternative fuels that tumor cells can utilize to support their metabolic needs. The dependence of tumors on these fuels reveals their unexpected metabolic flexibility to utilize a wide variety of alternative fuels. By understanding how oncogenic mutations regulate the uptake and metabolisms of these alternative fuels, we may be able to identify therapeutic targets to eradicate tumors via their metabolic vulnerabilities.”

→ Does not appear to have COI: “The authors declare that they have no competing interests.” “We appreciate the support of NIH (CA125618, CA106520, F31 CA180610-02) and the Department of Defense (W81XWH-12-1-0148, W81XWH-14-1-0309)”

Fasting and cancer treatment in humans: A case series report (2009)

I'm going to skip this study, because it's all over the place in terms of the types of cancer. If we can't find better studies with a larger number of human subjects, we'll use those instead.

Case 1 Female 51 Breast IIA Case 2 Male 68 Esophagus IVB Case 3 Male 74 Prostate II Case 4 Female 61 Lung (NSCLC) IV Case 5 Female 74 Uterus IV Case 6 Female 44 Ovary IA Case 7 Male 66 Prostate IV/DI Case 8 Female 51 Breast IIA Case 9 Female 48 Breast IIA Case 10 Female 78 Breast IIA


Fasting reduces intestinal radiotoxicity enabling dose-escalated radiotherapy for pancreatic cancer

They demonstrated that a 24 h fast in mice improved intestinal stem cell regeneration by microcolony assay and improved host survival from lethal doses of total abdominal radiation when compared to fed controls. Fasting also improved survival of mice with orthotopic pancreatic tumors subjected to lethal abdominal radiation when compared to controls with free access to food. Furthermore, fasting did not impact tumor cell killing by radiation therapy and enhanced γ-H2AX staining after radiotherapy, suggesting an additional mild radio-sensitizating effect.These results establish proof-of-concept for fasting as a dose-escalation strategy, enabling ablative radiation in the treatment of unresectable pancreatic cancer.

→ The authors have declared that no conflict of interest exists.

Already placed under pancreatic cancer, but the article can also be used to support protective effects of fasting to radiotherapy of any cancer.

Fasting-Mimicking Diet Modulates Microbiota and Promotes Intestinal Regeneration to Reduce Inflammatory Bowel Disease Pathology

Rangan et al. show that cycles of a fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) ameliorate intestinal inflammation, promote intestinal regeneration, and stimulate the growth of protective gut microbial populations in a mouse model displaying symptoms and pathology associated with IBD. They also show that a similar FMD is safe, feasible, and effective in reducing systemic inflammation and the consequent high levels of immune cells in humans. FMD cycles reduce intestinal inflammatory and immune and increase regenerative markers

FMD cycles promote the expansion of Lactobacillaceae and Bifidobacteriaceae

FMD cycles can reduce systemic inflammation and consequent leukocytosis in humans

→ COI: V.D.L. has equity interest in L-Nutra, which develops and sells medical food for the prevention and treatment of diseases. V.D.L. has committed all his equity in the company to charitable organizations. V.D.L., P.R., and I.Y.C. have filed a patent related to this study at the University of Southern California (USC).

2018. The effects of short-term fasting on quality of life and tolerance to chemotherapy in patients with breast and ovarian cancer: a randomized cross-over pilot study

STF during chemotherapy is feasible and has beneficial effects on QOL, well-being and fatigue. Larger randomized trials with confirmatory study design are warranted to further evaluate this innovative treatment approach.

→ COI: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Fasting vs dietary restriction in cellular protection and cancer treatment: from model organisms to patients 2011

“Fasting provides differential stress resistance (DSR) to chemotherapy. The investment of the finite energy available in a cell or an organism is efficiently balanced between growth/ reproduction and maintenance/repair. However, challenging con- ditions, such as fasting and its consequent reduction of IGF-I, withdraws energy from growth/reproduction and reinvests it in maintenance/repair, thereby increasing cellular protection. This switch in cellular metabolic policy is mediated by negatively regulating mitotic pathways such as those major effectors down- stream of IGF-I (PI3K/Akt and Ras/ERK). By contrast, oncogenic mutations, which often regulate cellular metabolism and growth, render tumor cells less responsive to fasting due to their independence from external cues. Therefore, cancer cells fail to or only partially respond to fasting and continue to promote growth, leaving them vulnerable to chemotherapy drugs.”

→ COI: Valter Longo founded L-Nutra, which develops diets for cancer patients.

2004. Nutrition and cancer: A review of the evidence for an anti-cancer diet.

It has been estimated that 30–40 percent of all cancers can be prevented by lifestyle and dietary measures alone. Obesity, nutrient sparse foods such as concentrated sugars and refined flour products that contribute to impaired glucose metabolism (which leads to diabetes), low fiber intake, consumption of red meat, and imbalance of omega 3 and omega 6 fats all contribute to excess cancer risk. Intake of flax seed, especially its lignan fraction, and abundant portions of fruits and vegetables will lower cancer risk. Allium and cruciferous vegetables are especially beneficial, with broccoli sprouts being the densest source of sulforophane. Protective elements in a cancer prevention diet include selenium, folic acid, vitamin B-12, vitamin D, chlorophyll, and antioxidants such as the carotenoids (α-carotene, β-carotene, lycopene, lutein, cryptoxanthin). Ascorbic acid has limited benefits orally, but could be very beneficial intravenously. Supplementary use of oral digestive enzymes and probiotics also has merit as anticancer dietary measures. When a diet is compiled according to the guidelines here it is likely that there would be at least a 60–70 percent decrease in breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers, and even a 40–50 percent decrease in lung cancer, along with similar reductions in cancers at other sites. Such a diet would be conducive to preventing cancer and would favor recovery from cancer as well.

→ COI: Michael Donaldson is a research scientist at the Hallelujah Acres Foundation, a foundation for investigations pertaining to the Hallelujah Diet. Funding for this review was provided by the Hallelujah Acres Foundation.


Saira, I'm not sure how their cancer advice fits in our article. We can have a small section in the intro about how a healthy diet is good at preventing cancer, but our article is focused on the effectiveness of keto/CR/fasting on cancer, not on eating a healthy diet.

Role of nutritional factors in pathogenesis of cancer

This is good: for each cancer type, the role of diet is discussed.



Cancers differ in the causes that lead to the altered cellular replication machinery. Cancer can arise from mutations in proliferation-related genes, including mutated proto-oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. 1). Cancer can also arise from epigenetic rearrangement of DNA strands in the chromosomes, and from mitochondrial mtDNA mutations. There are viruses that cause cancer 2). Cancer stem cells form tumors of phenotypic and functional heterogeneity. 3)

Just as the cause of a cancer can be unique, the optimal treatment for each cancer can be unique. This article reviews research for optimal treatment in respect to the afflicted organ or anatomy, because that is how cancer has been researched in the past. Additionally, while the molecular cause of every cancer can be independent of location, overall health is affected when one bodily system is not functioning at capacity.

While mainstream treatments use chemo or radiotherapy, our focus is to find treatments that avoid harm and benefit normal cells, and exploit the weaknesses of cancer cells.

Fasting is considered to be effective in protecting normal cell growth and also can induce selective apoptosis in cancer cells. Fasting improves cellular health and reduces lipid peroxidation by reducing oxidative stress. It also induces autophagy, removing muted or damaged proteins, thereby increasing oxidative stress tolerance. Various studies also report that chemotherapy in combination with fasting can help in the reduction of tumor based cells. Fasting also results in decrease of amino acids and low glucose level that enhance anti warburg effect that unable ATP generation that promote oxidative damage. 4) Fasting-mimicking diets have also been applied to increase the effectiveness of therapeutic medicines.


Mutational Theory of Cancer

Even in an optimal environment, cells are evolving mutations at a slow rate due to imperfections in the maintenance and replication of DNA. Despite safeguards to maintain the original DNA sequence, including programmed self-destruction, multi-cellular organisms become a mosaic of evolved cells, with the cells most fit to survive enduring.

Mutations are random in nature. Most mutations are deleterious. While the cell could continue to survive with some mutation, certain mutations will provide internal signaling to trigger self-destruction. Cells are programmed with a fail-safe to suicide for the overall benefit of the organism, a process known as apoptosis. However, some mutations do not trigger apoptosis. Through mitosis, the mutated cells replenish dying cell neighbors with their own mutated copy.

These very few mutated cells may in some way be able to out-compete neighboring cells. While these cells could have advantage over neighboring cells in terms of competitive survival, they may not necessarily be the most effective towards the overall health of the organism. This is an aspect of the aging process. In the case of cancer, the mutated cell proliferation will likely cause an organism's death.

Mutated cells can happen in different stages of life, and results in clonal mosaicism, including where different regions of the body have differing genomes.

The imperfections in the machinery for DNA maintenance and DNA replication, could be more exact and fault tolerant. However, a certain level of mutation is beneficial for the survival of a species in a changing environment. Cancer and aging are products of the evolutionary process.

Cells have evolved a very intricate and careful internal balance, and once the balance is tipped, additional mutations are more likely to occur, accelerating the evolutionary process.

One of the mutations that may follow, can be the fail-safe that instructs the cell to suicide when internal sensors indicate instability.

Another mutation that may follow, is cell replication without the required signaling to do so. For example, normal cells will not replicate when they are surrounded by neighbors. A mutation may occur where replication / proliferation occurs despite contact inhibition. These mutated cells are said to be cancerous.

Cancer cells may also separate from their original tissue, circulate in the bloodstream, and take up residence elsewhere. The migration is termed metastasis.

Because of accelerated evolution in cancer cells, cancer is not a single disease, and treatment or finding a cure is more challenging. However, because cancer cells have an insatiable appetite, required for proliferation, finding weaknesses in their energy metabolism may be a key to treatment. 5)

Warburg Effect

Many types of cancer exhibit the Warburg Effect.

Fasting could be harmful because of mal-nourishment, due to cancer altering the available proteins in the body. In which case, keto with adequate protein could be a solution. Also it has been observed that starving of cancer cells is only observed in the limited mice related studies. If the cancer patients would be exposed to starvation for longer period of time this might increase rate of mortality and risk of prolonged patients care. Many Studies also showed that people who are well nourished have better chances of survival and lesser chances of having cancer

Randomized and un planned fasting can deteriorate the health instead of benefiting the cancer patients. Cancer patients with malnutrition face the more deleterious effects.There is a need of special screening of nutrients for cancer patients and it varies on the basis of cancer stages too. Short term nutritional interventions should be based on some criteria as proposed by European society of clinical nutrients and metabolism

Diet, nutrition and the prevention of cancer 2004

check this article contains very comprehensive overview of the diet effects and also contain recommended diet constituents (by WHO-WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION).

Studies Describing Harmful Effects of Fasting/CR/KD

To fast, or not to fast before chemotherapy, that is the question

Let's follow every citation and rewrite this article. Every other line, he's constantly saying remarks like “we think it's not good” “it's our opinion” etc etc. Who cares?! Let's break it down into each article that is cited in this study, and draw conclusions from facts rather than this author's opinions.

Also the citations in this opinion:

Studies Describing Positive Effects of Fasting/CR/KD

This is where studies go, if they don't fit into a specific cancer type

Preliminary clinical data indicates that in cancer patients fasting is not associated with major side effects and may reduce several of the side effects associated to chemotherapy, including a decreased toxicity to lymphocytes. These pre-clinical and preliminary clinical results served as the foundation for randomized trials to test the safety and efficacy of fasting cycles on the effect of chemotherapy on both normal and cancer cells

Many promising cancer drugs being developed will require years to become approved by regulatory bodies and, in most cases, will only be effective for a fraction of patients with specific types of cancer. It is therefore important to develop broader, complementary strategies that can be translated rapidly into effective therapies. Two to 4 days of fasting before chemotherapy treatment is safe and protect animals, and possibly humans, against the side effects of chemotherapy.Experiments in simple organisms, human cells, and mice indicated that these effects of fasting were caused by changes inside and outside cells that increased the death of tumor but not normal cells, a process termed differential stress sensitization

In another study it was found that prolonged fasting reduces circulating IGF-1 levels and PKA activity in various cell populations, leading to signal transduction changes in long-term hematopoietic stem cells (LT-HSC) and niche cells that promote stress resistance, self-renewal and lineage-balanced regeneration. Multiple cycles of fasting abated the immunosuppression and mortality caused by chemotherapy, and reversed age-dependent myeloid-bias in mice, in agreement with preliminary data on the protection of lymphocytes from chemotoxicity in fasting patients. The pro-regenerative effects of fasting on stem cells were recapitulated by deficiencies in either IGF-1 or PKA and blunted by exogenous IGF-1. These findings link the reduced levels of IGF-1 caused by fasting, to PKA signaling and establish their crucial role in regulating hematopoietic stem cell protection, self-renewal and regeneration. Main key points are below

  • Cycles of prolonged fasting (PF) reduce damage in bone marrow stem and progenitor cells and protect mice against chemotoxicity
  • Prolonged fasting cycles promote lineage-balanced hematopoietic regeneration
  • Prolonged fasting cycles regulate stem cell populations independently of chemotherapy and help reverse from immunosenescence
  • Reduction of IGF-1 or PKA signaling promotes HSC self-renewal

Calorie restriction and cancer prevention: a mechanistic perspective

When less may be more: calorie restriction and response to cancer therapy.

A 2014 systematic review of fifty-nine studies on animals found that 91% showed caloric restriction to play an anti-cancer role during intiation, progression and metastasis of cancer.

THE FOLLOWING IS FROM The article was last updated on 2016, so we will be adding research and conclusions available since then. We have messaged UCSF for permission.

Effectiveness by Cancer Type

Brain Tumor

Mouse models of glioblastoma demonstrate treatment enhancement when mice were fed a ketogenic diet in combination with chemotherapy and/or radiation.8 9 Additionally, studies showed that mice fed a ketogenic diet, some with a liquid ketogenic supplement and calorie restriction, have prolonged survival and significantly decreased tumor growth.9, 10, 11, 12 These studies provide a promising backdrop for the human trials.

A study published in 2014 reported results of a retrospective review of 53 patients being treated for glioblastoma with concurrent chemo-radiotherapy and adjuvant chemotherapy.13 Of these 53 patients, six followed a ketogenic diet during treatment. The diet was well tolerated and without any adverse effects. Serum glucose levels were significantly lower for those on the ketogenic diet than for those on a standard diet, despite the use of high dose steroids.

In 2014, researchers published data on the ERGO Trial,14 which was a pilot, non-randomized feasibility study (n=20) of a ketogenic diet in recurrent glioblastoma. The results suggest that although the ketogenic diet alone does not seem to extend median survival, when combined with chemotherapy, there was enhanced progression-free survival. These findings were seen again in another pilot study (n=2) published in 2015.15 Although no benefit was seen from following a ketogenic diet alone, remission rates were improved when the diet was used in combination with treatment. Both of these studies demonstrated the safety of following a ketogenic diet. There are currently several active clinical trials looking at the potential benefit of using a ketogenic diet or modified Atkins Diet in patients with brain tumors.

Prostate Cancer

In mouse models of prostate cancer, researchers have been evaluating varying amounts of carbohydrate intake. In 2008, researchers were able to show that mice on a no-carbohydrate diet (0 grams) had significantly reduced tumor growth and prolonged survival versus mice on a 72% carb diet (standard) or 44% carb diet (low).16 Similar results were found in other studies.17 Another study showed that mice following a no-carbohydrate diet had significantly prolonged survival, as well as lower levels of inflammation, insulin and obesity, along with increased apoptosis of cancer cells.18

Although these findings are interesting, they do not readily transfer to humans, given the difficulties of following a 0 gram carbohydrate diet. In 2010, another study showed that mice fed a 10-20% carbohydrate diet had similar survival to mice consuming a 0% carbohydrate diet.19 Two more studies showed similar results, and actually one determined that mice on a 20% carbohydrate diet had the slowest rate of tumor growth.20, 21

So far, we only have research on two human trials looking at prostate cancer and low carbohydrate diets, with three clinical trials currently recruiting. Lin and colleagues recruited eight men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer and randomized them to a low fat, low glycemic load intervention arm (<20% fat & <100 glycemic load) or a “standard American” control arm (35% fat & >200 glycemic load).22 The men on the low fat/low glycemic load diet lost more weight and showed significant gene expression changes in prostate epithelium on biopsy; suggesting the possibility of a therapeutic value. Many of these gene changes could conceivably alter the proliferation, metabolism and redox potential of prostate epithelial cells. In 2011, data was published from a cohort study of 566 Swedish men, which showed that adherence to a low carbohydrate, high protein diet was associated with a decreased risk of prostate cancer.23

Breast Cancer

Most of the research on carbohydrate restriction and breast cancer investigated its effects on prevention. Only two mouse model studies of breast cancer have evaluated a low carbohydrate diet and tumor growth. One study found that tumor growth was suppressed by a ketogenic diet.24 Another study showed that cancers grew slower in mice fed a low carbohydrate, high protein diet.25 A further reduction in growth in the primary tumor and metastasis was observed when the ketogenic diet was combined with a COX-2 inhibitor.

The Shanghai Women’s Health Study (79, 942 Chinese women between the ages of 40-70) showed an association between a high carbohydrate, high glycemic load diet and an increased risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer.26 The Nurses’ Health Study (included 86,621 American women between the ages of 30-55) found lower risk for ER negative postmenopausal breast cancer with a diet high in fruits, vegetables, plant proteins, and plant fats with a total carbohydrate intake <50% and a glycemic load <100. 27

The remaining studies looked at the ability of a low carbohydrate diet to lower metabolic markers associated with breast cancer risk. In one study, 115 overweight or obese women with increased risk for breast cancer followed either a calorie restricted, low carbohydrate diet (650 kcal, <50 grams carb x 2 days/week) or ad lib calorie, low carbohydrate diet (<50 grams carb x 2 days/week) or a 1500 kcal/day diet with normal carbohydrate intake for 7 days/week.28 They found that those in either of the carbohydrate restricted groups had greater weight loss, lower body fat, and less insulin resistance.

Another study showed similar results. Post-menopausal breast cancer survivors consumed a ketogenic diet (<40 grams carb, 800-1200 kcal) and successfully achieved weight loss and improvement in metabolic markers (lower CRP levels, lower fasting insulin levels, and lower circulating estrogen levels).29 In another study, administration of a low-carbohydrate diet to patients with hormone responsive breast cancer on anti-estrogen or anti-aromatase therapy resulted in weight loss with improved lipid profiles and a decrease in signs of non-alcoholic hepatic steatosis.30 There is currently one active clinical trial looking further at a ketogenic diet in a breast cancer rehabilitation program.

Pediatric Astrocytoma

In 1995, a case study of two female pediatric patients with advanced stage astrocytoma showed a decrease in glucose uptake at the tumor site when following a ketogenic (10% carbohydrate) diet.31 Of the two, one continued the diet remaining free of disease progression for an additional 12 months.

Head and Neck Cancer

In head and neck cancer, it’s been hypothesized that carbohydrate restriction and ketosis can be supportive treatments by protecting normal tissue while sensitizing tumor tissue to radiation and chemotherapy while simultaneously supporting body and muscle mass maintenance.32 There is currently an active clinical trial looking at a low carbohydrate diet in head and neck cancer patients.

Endometrial Cancer

A study published in 2014 showed that endometrial cancer survivors following a ketogenic diet (<40 grams/day) had statistically significant decreases in weight, estrogenic markers and fasting insulin levels thereby reducing their risk for recurrence.33

Colon Cancer

One study found increasing risk for various colon cancers with increasing intake of fat, sucrose, lactose, glucose and fructose.34 While no reduction in cancer risk was seen from following a 39% carbohydrate diet in a prospective cohort study of 62,582 Swedish people.35 Based on a review of the other studies referenced in this article, a 39% carbohydrate diet may not be considered low enough to elicit the benefits seen in some of the other studies.

<Description needed>. 6)

Advanced or Metastatic Cancer

In the treatment of metastatic advanced cancers, a ketogenic diet has shown promise in mice models for reducing tumor growth and spread while prolonging survival.36, 37 In a human study of 10 patients, those with the highest degree of ketosis showed disease stabilization or partial remission, with no adverse effects.38 Another study of 16 patients following a ketogenic diet (<70 grams/day) showed improved emotional functioning and less insomnia in those who were able to maintain the diet.39 The remaining cancers have at least one mouse study available, but no human data looking at low carbohydrate diets and that specific type of cancer.


In mice with melanoma, researches have observed tumor inhibition at a 20% carb and 2% fat diet.40 And interestingly, when these same mice are given a phytonutrient supplement in addition to the low-carbohydrate or moderate-carbohydrate diet, they see even fewer tumor modules, plus increased survival times.41


In mice with liver cancer, researchers have observed tumor inhibition and even regression when fed a 12% carb diet.42

Lung, Pancreatic, Neuroblastoma

Mouse models have shown tumor inhibition, treatment enhancement, and prolonged survival in lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and neuroblastoma. 43, 44, 45, 46

In mice, fasting before radiotherapy offers a protective effect on normal cells, while simultaneously having a mild increase in pancreatic tumor cell death. 7)

Anti-Cancer Effects of Cannabis

Sobia Syed 2019/07/30
Marcos Reyes 2019/08/01

Statements need to be well supported by research. Marijuanadoctors, medicalnewstoday, Healthline,,, and while they may be great sources worthy of inclusion, there also needs to be peer reviewed research articles that support the same statements. You can have multiple sources backing up a statement as follows. 1) 2) 3) Another statement. 4) 5)

Cannabis oil is booming as the cure of cancer for the past few years and it has become a treatment option for many. The mechanism by which cannabis oil treats cancer involves a partnership between the immune system and the endocannaboid system.

One of the functions of the immune system is to get rid of the dying cells. When it comes to fighting cancer the immune system on its own is only moderately effective, because cancer cells are essentially modified endogenous cells which the immune system doesn’t recognize as harmful. Cancer cells hide from the immune system by hiding the ID that signals something is wrong. However some of the chemicals in cannabis are able to circumvent this disguise. One of those chemicals is THC, a cannabinoids in cannabis. When THC meets the endocannabinoid receptors on cancer cells, they produce ceramide which kills them. Ceramide is the agent the immune system uses to kill dead or dying cells. Once the immune system recognizes that the DNA of the cancer cells is abnormal, it sends the ceramide in and kills the cancerous cells.8)

Another useful cannabinoid is CBD ( cannabidoil oil) that suppresses the gene that allows the cancer to metastasize and divide. THC and CBD kills the cancer cells and the tissue is left immunized for any over cancer growth, there is nothing else that does this and it works with all types of cancer no matter where the cancer is.

Cannabidiol is mostly confused with marijuana and thought of as a drug. while it is just a second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause a “high.” According to a report from the, World heath organization “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential to date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.” 9) (Needs additional citations. One doctor's blog is insufficient proof.)

According to American Society of clinical oncology journal a research was performed on 283 patients with advanced cancer to compare the effects of cannabis extract, THC and placebo on appetite and quality of life in patients with cancer-related anorexia-cachexia syndrome (CACS). The research concluded that there was no differences in patients' appetite or quality of life were found either between cannabis extract, THC, and Placebo or between cannabis extract and THC at the dosages investigated. If we see, this study doesn’t support cannabis treatment or that maybe because all the patients here had advanced stage cancer. 10)

Here are some promising studies performed that suggests that cannabinoids help cure cancer. which is medically reviewed by Alan Carter. 11)

• Team worked with a mouse model of pancreatic cancer, which they treated with CBD alongside a typical chemotherapy drug, the team found that, following this combination treatment, the rodents survived almost three times as long as mice from a control group, which had only been treated with typical chemotherapy drugs. 12)

• A study indicated that CBD could provoke cell death and make glioblastoma cells more sensitive to radiation, but with no effect on healthy cells. 13)

• Men’s Health Study cohort found that using cannabis may be inversely associated with bladder cancer risk. However, a cause and effect relationship hasn’t been established. 14)

• A study in experimental models of colon cancer suggests that CBD may inhibit the spread of colorectal cancer cells. 15)

• Other research demonstrated the efficacy of CBD in pre-clinical models of metastatic breast cancer. The study found that CBD significantly reduced breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion. 16)

Studies on the role of cannabinoids in the development of cancer have produced mixed results. A 2010 study using a mouse model found that cannabinoids can trigger suppression of the immune system. That could make users more susceptible to some types of cancer. 17)

However, we need more rigorous studies into the potential benefits and risks of CBD, dosing, administration, and how it affects other cancer therapies. 18) Currently, there are no FDA-approved CBD products for cancer. Patients have been using it on their own.

When it comes to cancer prevention, CBD research has a long way to go and a lot more research is required to bring it to mainstream. Scientists will have to conduct long-term studies of people using specific CBD products, controlling for frequency of use, dosing, and other variables.

Cancer stem cells (CSCs): metabolic strategies for their identification and eradication
The Warburg Effect: How Does it Benefit Cancer Cells?
Balaraman Kalyanaraman. 2017. Teaching the basics of cancer metabolism: Developing antitumor strategies by exploiting the differences between normal and cancer cell metabolism.
Giovanna Bianchi et al. 2015. Fasting induces anti-Warburg effect that increases respiration but reduces ATP-synthesis to promote apoptosis in colon cancer models.
health/cancer.txt · Last modified: 2019/10/26 20:54 by marcos