Effect of major dietary modifications on immune system in patients with breast cancer. A pilot study

B. K. Garritson, A. Nikaein, G. N. Peters, M. A. Gorman, C. C. King, G. U. Lipa

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Abstract

A pilot study was conducted to evaluate the effect of diet on immune function in nine premenopausal, post-therapy patients with breast cancer. The patients were instructed on following the American Cancer Society dietary guidelines and were told to do so from day 0 to day 28. These guidelines recommend a high-fiber, low-fat diet. On day 29, the patients continued the diet but included fish high in omega-3 fatty acids until day 56. Twenty-four-hour urine and blood samples, and 3-day diet records were obtained on days 0, 28, and 56. The following parameters were monitored: lymphocyte subsets, T-cell function (proliferation and cytolytic response), and urinary prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). Results throughout the study suggested a benefit from decreasing dietary fat intake, and increasing fish intake. Helper T-cell (CD4) percentage increased from day 0 to days 28 and 56 (P = 0.048). Cytotoxic/suppressor T-cell (CD8) percentage decreased from day 0 to days 28 and 56 (P = 0.002). The CD4/CD8 cell ratio increased by day 28 and 56 (P = 0.0004). The proliferation of CD4 cells increased from day 0 to days 28 and 56 (P = 0.005). Significant changes were not found in the cytolytic activity of T cells, natural killer cells, total T and B cells, or urinary prostaglandin E2. Results suggest that patients with breast cancer may benefit from following American Cancer Society dietary guidelines and consuming cold-water ocean fish.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-246
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Practice
Volume3
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

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Keywords

  • breast cancer
  • cancer
  • diet
  • immune system
  • medical oncology
  • nutritin
  • omega-3 fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Oncology

Cite this

Garritson, B. K., Nikaein, A., Peters, G. N., Gorman, M. A., King, C. C., & Lipa, G. U. (1995). Effect of major dietary modifications on immune system in patients with breast cancer. A pilot study. Cancer Practice, 3(4), 239-246.