The influence of restricted food intake on the survival of mice with spontaneous mammary carcinoma was investigated in three experiments. Strain C3H mice with small single tumors were paired according to age and body weight, as well as size and location of the neoplasms. One of each pair was full-fed (13 Calories daily), the other restricted (7.4 Calories). Limitation of food intake was achieved by either proportionate reduction of all dietary components (underfeeding) or by decrease of carbohydrate only (caloric restriction). A total of 163 pairs of mice was used in the study.

The average survival time of the tumor-bearing mice on the low-calorie rations was about 20 per cent longer than that of the full-fed controls. Furthermore, in two-thirds of the pairs the restricted mouse outlived its respective mate. The limitation of food intake also resulted in a decreased rate of growth of the tumors, reduced incidence of additional mammary carcinomas, and lower frequency of grossly visible metastases to the lungs.


This investigation was supported in part by research grant C248 from the National Cancer Institute, of the National Institutes of Health, Public Health Service, and by funds from the Mildred Lasser Balter Cancer Memorial.

Presented at the Scientific Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research, April 11–13, 1952. New York City (Abstract in Cancer Research, 12:302, 1952).

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