Series |

Diet and systemic metabolism

Systemic and cellular metabolism are to a large degree controlled by nutrition and diet. Metabolic syndrome and obesity can be fuelled by a poor diet, and obesity is associated with an increased risk of cancer. Because rates of obesity and the incidence of metabolic syndrome are increasing world-wide, a large number of prospective patients with cancer are likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome, involving high levels of blood sugar and triglycerides and insulin resistance. How diet and systemic metabolism in health and metabolic disease impact tumour development, progression and metabolism is an area of increasing research interest which could lead to improved therapeutic strategies, including dietary intervention. This series of articles explores recent advances in our understanding of tumour metabolism and growth in the context of systemic regulation, diet and metabolic disease.


This Review discusses the current understanding of how insulin and insulin receptor signalling contribute to cancer growth, in the context of the rising prevalence of obesity and diabetes worldwide and the realization that hyperinsulinaemia may contribute to therapeutic failures.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Cancer

This Review summarizes the epidemiology literature linking data-driven and investigator-defined dietary patterns to cancer risk, providing expert appraisal of new developments in the field and highlighting both emerging mechanistic insights and key areas for future research.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Cancer

Methionine uptake and metabolism contributes to cancer pathogenesis through functions in methylation reactions and one-carbon metabolism. This Review discusses methionine metabolism in the context of nutrition and the potential of targeting methionine metabolism in cancer through dietary or pharmacological intervention.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Cancer

This Opinion discusses the potential of fasting and fasting-mimicking diets to help overcome toxicities induced by anticancer therapy. The differential response of normal and cancer cells undergoing starvation is argued to make normal cells less sensitive to therapy-induced toxicity, while cancer cells become more sensitive to therapy-induced cell death.

Perspective | | Nature Reviews Cancer