Graduation Year


Document Type

Senior Thesis


Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Primary Major


Primary Minor


Thesis Advisor

Patricia Harris, PhD, RN


This paper explores a total of six research studies and will contain a literature review and proposal for further study regarding the effectiveness of the ketogenic diet as an adjuvant cancer therapy. Each study addresses a variety of different factors involved in KD implementation, ranging from effects on body composition and lipid profiles, to self-proclaimed quality of life, to tumor expression and progression under a KD regime. Ultimately, each were divided into three separate categories depending on the aspects of research that were covered. Two studies, by Hagihara and Jansen and Walach respectively, discuss the potential benefits of KD in cancer patients, while two additional studies by Sremanokova and Klement address concerns regarding the implementation of KD in cancer populations. The final category and studies by Yang and Erickson claim a lack of significance in the use of KD in clinical practice, and examine why this is the case. The major findings and limitations of each study will be discussed in detail, alongside theme comparisons between studies. Based on the findings discussed, the new research question in the proposal for further study will address the anti-tumor effects of KD on glioblastoma specifically. The study will be a longitudinal mixed method design and will only involve participants diagnosed with glioblastomas. The data obtained through conducted interviews and surveys will be analyzed through audio recordings, written assessment scales, and questionnaires completed by participants. Additional lab work will be done for the statistical analysis portion and will observe changes in blood ketone levels, TKTL1 expression, and cfDNA blood levels respectively. The final portion will discuss the consensus between both the literature review and proposal for further study, which is that KD shows promise as an adjuvant therapy in cancer populations.