Fasting Versus Cancer

As researchers continue to explore calorie restriction, intermittent fasting, and other forms of lowering food intake, then make discoveries like this: "Man may not live by bread alone, but cancer in animals appears less resilient, judging by a study that found chemotherapy drugs work better when combined with cycles of short, severe fasting. Even fasting on its own effectively treated a majority of cancers tested in animals, including cancers from human cells. ... For example, multiple cycles of fasting combined with chemotherapy cured 20 percent of mice with a highly aggressive type of children's cancer that had spread throughout the organism and 40 percent of mice with a more limited spread of the same cancer. No mice survived in either case if treated only with chemotherapy. Only a clinical trial lasting several years can demonstrate whether humans would benefit from the same treatment. ... As with any potential cancer treatment, fasting has its limits. The growth of large tumor masses was reduced by multiple fasting and chemotherapy cycles, but cancer-free survival could not be achieved. [Researchers] speculated that cells inside a large tumor may be protected in some way or that the variety of mutations in a large mass may make it more adaptable. ... The cell is, in fact, committing cellular suicide. What we're seeing is that the cancer cell tries to compensate for the lack of all these things missing in the blood after fasting. It may be trying to replace them, but it can't. ... A way to beat cancer cells may not be to try to find drugs that kill them specifically but to confuse them by generating extreme environments, such as fasting that only normal cells can quickly respond to."

Link: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-02/uosc-fwc020212.php

Comments

I would also be interested whether short-term fasting
- allows for more focused targeting of radiation therapy
- works synergistically with DCA
- enhances local or whole body hyperthermia anti-cancer effects
- which, if any, essential amino-acid restrictions may work

Posted by: Lou Pagnucco at February 9th, 2012 10:51 AM

"A way to beat cancer cells ... to confuse them by generating extreme environments, such as fasting that only normal cells can quickly respond to."

Interestingly, I have suspected this for years, so I'm glad to see some confirmation from USC. Also interesting to read that many of the benefits from CR may come from the same approach. About 24 hours each month, I fast, but I don't know if that is "severe" enough to have an effect.

Posted by: Patrick at February 10th, 2012 12:55 AM

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