Dietary fat and tumor metastasis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Evidence from several types of studies indicates a relationship between fat intake and occurrence of malignant tumors at specific sites. When rodents are fed high-fat diets, the incidence of mammary tumors sharply increases and latency of tumor appearance is greatly diminished, as compared with the same parameters in animals fed low levels of fat. Despite advances in surgical technique and the development of aggressive therapies for the treatment of primary cancers, most deaths in humans with cancer are caused by metastasis. Accordingly, we have reviewed the process of metastasis and have focused on the question of whether dietary fat can play a role. Metastasis is a complex, multistep, progressive process, and dietary fats may affect specific events such as implantation, survival, and proliferation of tumors. Finally, we discuss possible mechanisms by which dietary fat can modulate metastasis. Available data lead us to stress the importance of assessment of metastasis in studies of the effects of dietary fat on tumorigenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-14
Number of pages9
JournalNutrition Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science


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