Systematic review: isocaloric ketogenic dietary regimes for cancer patients

Med Oncol. 2017 May;34(5):72. doi: 10.1007/s12032-017-0930-5. Epub 2017 Mar 28.


The efficacy and benefits of ketogenic diets (KD) have recently been gaining worldwide and remain a controversial topic in oncology. This systematic review therefore presents and evaluates the clinical evidence on isocaloric KD dietary regimes and reveals that evidence supporting the effects of isocaloric ketogenic dietary regimes on tumor development and progression as well as reduction in side effects of cancer therapy is missing. Furthermore, an array of potential side effects should be carefully considered before applying KD to cancer patients. In regard to counseling cancer patients considering a KD, more robust and consistent clinical evidence is necessary before the KD can be recommended for any single cancer diagnosis or as an adjunct therapy.

Keywords: Cancer; Cancer diet; Ketogenic diet; Low carbohydrate; Nutrition; Oncology.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet, Ketogenic / methods*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / diet therapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic