Medical Oncology

, 34:72 | Cite as

Systematic review: isocaloric ketogenic dietary regimes for cancer patients

  • N. Erickson
  • A. Boscheri
  • B. Linke
  • J. Huebner
Review Article


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.


Cancer Ketogenic diet Nutrition Cancer diet Low carbohydrate Oncology 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Nicole Erickson has received a speaker honorarium from B. Braun, CSL-Behring and Fresenius Kabi. The content of these talks was not related to the content of this article. A. Boscheri, B. Linke and J. Huebner declare no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors and therefore did not require ethical approval.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Erickson
    • 1
  • A. Boscheri
    • 2
  • B. Linke
    • 3
  • J. Huebner
    • 4
  1. 1.Comprehensive Cancer CenterLudwig-Maximilian-University ClinicMunichGermany
  2. 2.Center for Prevention, Rehabilitation and Sports MedicineTechnical University of Munich Clinic at Rechts der IsarMunichGermany
  3. 3.Department of BiologyHumboldt UniversityBerlinGermany
  4. 4.University Clinic of JenaJenaGermany

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