Using Ketogenic Diet as an Adjuvant Therapy for the Treatment of Malignant Brain Tumor

  • Wang, Huei-Shyong (PI)

Project: National Science and Technology CouncilNational Science and Technology Council Academic Grants

Project Details


Malignant brain tumor is a catastrophic disease of morbidity and mortality in adults and is the second leading cause of cancer death in children. They do not have defined boundaries. Complete surgical removal is always impossible. Because of the intrinsic heterogeneity and genetic instability of malignant brain tumors, they are usually resistant to therapy. Even after surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, these tumors typically recur. Therefore, mortality and an average short survival year is inevitable. Increased survival of malignant brain tumor patients requires the design of new therapeutic modalities, especially those that enhance currently available therapies and/or limit tumor growth. Ketogenic diet has been proved to be effective on the inhibition of malignant tumor growth based on the mechanism of metabolic dysregulation of cancer cells. The restrictive calorie ketogenic diet is a new adjunctive therapy being attempted for patients suffering from glioblastoma multiforme. The restricted calorie ketogenic diet is based on Nobel Prize winner Otto Warburg’s theory on the unusual metabolic features of cancer cells. In 1924, he discovered that cancer cells produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP) by a high rate of anaerobic respiration, or glycolysis, which takes place in the cells’ cytoplasm. This discovery that cancer cells produce energy mainly by the nonoxidative breakdown of glucose is now so called “Warburg Effect”. Because all cancers share metabolic dysregulation and unregulated production of energy due to these or other mechanisms, a therapy that exploits this trait is likely to have a broader impact than an individual targeted therapy. The ketogenic diet alters cellular metabolism and thus may have a broad impact on overall tumor growth. In this study, we attempt to clarify the adjuvant effects of ketogenic diet for the malignant brain tumor. And, the safety issue of ketogenic diet in patients with malignant brain tumor will be addressed.

Project IDs

Project ID:PC10608-1744
External Project ID:MOST106-2314-B182-057
Effective start/end date01/07/1730/06/18


  • ketogenic diet
  • Malignant brain tumor


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