Published in Cancer Detection and Prevention 1993; 17(1).

The influence of calorie restriction on development of cancers

Good, RA, Engelman, RW, Verjee, T, Day, NK

Univ of South Florida, All Children's Hospital, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701

Rous lst showed that food restriction inhibits cancer development in animals. In the 30's, Clive McCay later discovered that food restriction increases life span of rats, a subject now extensively investigated by Walford et al and many others. Prevention of cancer by dietary restriction was reported by Tannenbaum et al and Visscher et al during the 40's. Tucker et al and Weindruch and Walford and Fernandes have extended prior investigations of inhibitory influences of calorie restriction (CR) on development of different forms of cancer in mice. Kritschevsky et al showed that development of chemical carcinogen induced forms of breast cancer in rats are inhibited significantly by CR. Prolongation of life and health in both genetically long-lived and short-lived strains of mice is achieved by CR. In genetically short-lived mice this influence is associated with prevention of immunologic disorganization with age, prevention of autoimmune disease, lymphoproliferative disease and several virus-associated malignancies, e.g. leukemias and lymphomas and virus-associated breast cancers. In short-lived or long-lived mice, CR inhibits vegetative cellular proliferation (proliferation of cells in organs featured by rapid cellular replication, e.g. in gut, thymus and hematopoietic system), a finding confirmed and extended by Lok et al. By contrast, adaptive cellular proliferation as in immune responses or liver repair after surgical extirpation of liver is not inhibited but often enhanced by CR. Molecular analysis reveals that expression of oncogenic viruses and potentially critical oncogenes, e.g. Wnt for breast cancer of mice are also suppressed by undernutrition without malnutrition. Recent studies indicate that for the mammary tumor virus the influence on virus expression may be attributed to restriction of cell proliferation within the developing mammary gland. Supported by NNIH Grant # AG 05633-08.

Paper presented at the International Symposium on Cofactor Interactions and Cancer Prevention; Nice, France; March 17-19, 1993; in the section on Prevention.