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FL Byrne, SR Hargett, S Lahiri, RJ Roy, SS Berr, SH Caldwell and KL Hoehn
Abstract
Rodent models of liver tumorigenesis have reproducibly shown that dietary sugar intake is a powerful driver of liver tumor initiation and growth. In contrast, dietary sugar restriction with ketogenic diets or calorie restriction generally prevents liver tumor formation. Ketogenic diet is viewed positively as a therapeutic adjuvant; however, most ketogenic diet studies described to date have been performed in prevention mode rather than treatment mode. Therefore, it remains unclear whether a ketogenic diet can be administered in late stages of disease to stall or reverse liver tumor growth. To model the clinically relevant treatment mode, we administered a ketogenic diet to mice after liver tumor initiation and monitored tumor growth by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Male C57BL/6 mice were injected with diethylnitrosamine (DEN) at 2 weeks of age and fed a chow diet until 39 weeks of age, when they underwent MRI imaging to detect liver tumors. Mice were then randomised into two groups and fed either a chow diet or switched to a ketogenic diet from 40⁻48 weeks of age. Serial MRIs were performed at 44 and 48 weeks of age. All mice had tumors at study completion and there were no differences in total tumor burden between diet groups. Although a ketogenic diet has marked protective effects against DEN-induced liver tumourigenesis in this mouse model, these data demonstrate that ketogenic diet cannot stop the progression of established liver tumors.
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