Researchers have discovered that a low-fat diet in mice slows the growth of prostate cancer and improves survival when they also are treated with hormone therapy. Prior to this study, published in Cancer Research (February 15, 2004), the researchers had indicated that blood from men on a low-fat diet slowed the development of prostate cancers grown in a laboratory dish. For the current study, the researchers injected prostate cancer tumor cells into mice, which were given a high-fat diet until the tumors became noticeable.
The study involved 20 mice that underwent castration, which produces androgen deprivation. Of the 20 animals, 10 still received the high-fat diet, while the other 10 were given a low-fat diet. The results showed that in just 9 weeks cancers began to increase in size in the high-fat group, compared with 18 weeks in the low-fat group. Furthermore, animals in the low-fat group lived 8 weeks longer, compared with mice in the high-fat group.