A randomized parallel-group dietary study for stages II-IV ovarian cancer survivors

Gynecol Oncol. 2012 Mar;124(3):410-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2011.11.031. Epub 2011 Nov 23.


Objective: Few studies have examined the dietary habits of ovarian cancer survivors. Therefore, we conducted a study to assess the feasibility and impact of two dietary interventions for ovarian cancer survivors.

Methods: In this randomized, parallel-group study, 51 women (mean age, 53 years) diagnosed with stages II-IV ovarian cancer were recruited and randomly assigned to a low fat, high fiber (LFHF) diet or a modified National Cancer Institute diet supplemented with a soy-based beverage and encapsulated fruit and vegetable juice concentrates (FVJCs). Changes in clinical measures, serum carotenoid and tocopherol levels, dietary intake, anthropometry, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) were assessed with paired t-tests.

Results: The recruitment rate was 25%, and the retention rate was 75% at 6 months. At baseline, 28% and 45% of women met guidelines for intake of fiber and of fruits and vegetables, respectively. After 6 months, total serum carotenoid levels and α- and β-carotene concentrations were significantly increased in both groups (P<0.01); however, β-carotene concentrations were increased more in the FVJC group. Serum β-cryptoxanthin levels, fiber intake (+5.2g/day), and daily servings of juice (+0.9 servings/day) and vegetables (+1.3 servings/day) were all significantly increased in the LFHF group (all P<0.05). Serum levels of albumin, lutein and zeaxanthin, retinol, and retinyl palmitate were significantly increased in the FVJC group (all P<0.05). No changes in cancer antigen-125, anthropometry, or HRQOL were observed.

Conclusion: Overall, this study supports the feasibility of designing dietary interventions for stages II-IV ovarian cancer survivors and provides preliminary evidence that a low fat high fiber diet and a diet supplemented with encapsulated FVJC may increase phytonutrients in ovarian cancer survivors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • CA-125 Antigen / blood
  • Carotenoids / blood
  • Counseling
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / blood
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diet therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Survivors
  • Vegetables
  • alpha-Tocopherol / blood


  • CA-125 Antigen
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Carotenoids
  • alpha-Tocopherol