Dietary modifications for enhanced cancer therapy

Nature. 2020 Mar;579(7800):507-517. doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2124-0. Epub 2020 Mar 25.


Tumours depend on nutrients supplied by the host for their growth and survival. Modifications to the host's diet can change nutrient availability in the tumour microenvironment, which might represent a promising strategy for inhibiting tumour growth. Dietary modifications can limit tumour-specific nutritional requirements, alter certain nutrients that target the metabolic vulnerabilities of the tumour, or enhance the cytotoxicity of anti-cancer drugs. Recent reports have suggested that modification of several nutrients in the diet can alter the efficacy of cancer therapies, and some of the newest developments in this quickly expanding field are reviewed here. The results discussed indicate that the dietary habits and nutritional state of a patient must be taken into account during cancer research and therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / deficiency
  • Amino Acids / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Fasting / physiology
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Folic Acid / metabolism
  • Fructose / deficiency
  • Fructose / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / diet therapy*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Nutritional Status*


  • Amino Acids
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fructose
  • Folic Acid
  • Glucose