Table 3

Animal and human studies on anticancer treatments with dietary fibre supplementation/intake

Animal model/study type (size)CancerDietary fibre and anticancer treatmentsreferenceMain findingsFibre dose and duration of supplementation
BALB/c and C57BL/6 miceColorectal carcinoma and melanomaOrally administered inulin gel along with anti-PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitors86↑ the relative abundances of important commensal microbes and SCFAs;
↑ interferon-γ cytotoxic T cells;
↑ establishment of stem-like T-cell factor-1+ PD-1+ CD8+ T cells
60 mg/dose inulin gel started 7 days after tumour inoculation, followed by anti-PD-1
C57BL/6 miceMelanomaInulin along with anti-PD-1 therapy85↑ the abundance of Bifidobacterium;
↓ tumour growth;
↑ Th1-polarised CD4+ and CD8+ αβ T cell-mediated antitumour response
7.2% inulin in drinking water started 15 days before tumour inoculation; anti-PD-L1 was injected intraperitoneally on days 4, 7 and 10 post-tumour inoculation
Observational study (n=128)MelanomaDietary fibre intake and immunotherapy (anti-PD-1, anti-CTLA1)87↑ progression-free survival was associated with higher dietary fibre intake in 128 patients received immunotherapySufficient (>20 g/day) versus insufficient (<20 g/day) dietary fibre intake
Randomised controlled trial (n=38)Gynaecological cancerInulin and fructooligosaccharide, and pelvic radiotherapy (52.2 Gy)±brachytherapy90↓ number of days with watery stool12 g mixture of fibre (50% inulin and 50% FOS) per day vs 12 g maltodextrin per day
Randomised controlled trial (n=60)Prostate or gynaecologic cancerPsyllium and pelvic radiotherapy (mean of 68 Gy)91↓ incidence and severity of diarrhoeaPsyllium (dose: not specified)
Randomised controlled trial (n=166)Pelvic cancerNonstarch polysaccharide (NSP) and pelvic radiotherapy (mean of 54 Gy)95High-fibre group has a small change of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire–Bowel Subset (IBDQ-B) score between the start and end of radiotherapy compared with the habitual-fibre groupHigh-fibre (≥18 g NSP/day), habitual-fibre (control), low-fibre (≤10 g NSP)/day] diet
Randomised controlled trial (n=141)Advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC)1,3–1,6 β-D-glucan and concurrent chemotherapy (cisplatin, tegafur, uracil, leucovorin) and radiotherapy (65–75 Gy)105↓ concurrent chemoradiotherapy-associated adverse events;
↑ global quality of life scale score
1 g Maitake mushroom extract per day, 1 hour before meals during CCRT