Antitumor effect of medium-chain triglyceride and its influence on the self-defense system of the body

Cancer Detect Prev. 1998;22(3):219-24. doi: 10.1046/j.1525-1500.1998.0oa32.x.


Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT), long-chain triglyceride (LCT), and their mixture were compared in reference to both cytotoxic effect against human tumor cells and influence on the immune system. MCT showed more potent cytotoxicity than LCT. Continuous contact with MCT also inhibited the cytotoxic effect of lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells much more strongly than LCT. However, there is a discrepancy between the concentration of MCT, or the mixture, that could suppress the growth of tumor cells and the concentration that inhibited the cytotoxicity of LAK cells. Moreover, no damage was observed in PBL or LAK cells or in their cytotoxicity when the cells were incubated with TG for 2 h a day. Thus, short-term contact with TG could inhibit tumor growth while immune system was maintained within normal range. Clinically fine control of the concentration of injected triglycerides, especially MCT, can be expected to provide potent antitumor effect and maintenance of normal immune system.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic / drug effects
  • Growth Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / drug effects
  • Killer Cells, Lymphokine-Activated / cytology
  • Killer Cells, Lymphokine-Activated / drug effects
  • Triglycerides / pharmacology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Growth Inhibitors
  • Triglycerides