Topic: Does fasting before/after chemo help?

Does anyone have any experience with fasting before and after their chemo sessions? A friend of ours sent us a study about the effectiveness of fasting in reducing chemo side effects as well as helping kill the tumors. Here's the link to an article about it in Scientific American: … oost-chemo

We haven't talked to our doctor about it yet.

2 (edited by eli Tue, 13 Mar 2012 08:27:45)

Re: Does fasting before/after chemo help?

I saw this study. It's a mice study. No evidence that fasting works in humans. The article that you linked talks about it at length.

I mentioned this study to my wife and asked her (half-jokingly) if she would be willing to try fasting. She didn't show any enthusiasm for it. That was the end of it.

Important quote from the article:

"if you do [fasting] without the science, you can end up doing more damage than good." For example, when a fast is too long the immune system starts to suffer, potentially leaving a patient even less protected.

Re: Does fasting before/after chemo help?

I found a study at USC-Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center that is still enrolling patients. I'm not sure if cholangiocarcinoma would qualify. Here it is: Short-Term Fasting: Impact on Toxicity, … amp;rank=4  We are going to ask our doctor about this for my husband. He hardly eats anything anyway.

Re: Does fasting before/after chemo help?

Does he take in large amounts of fluids?


5 (edited by eli Tue, 13 Mar 2012 20:15:44)

Re: Does fasting before/after chemo help?

Hi SweetGreen,

Here's another clinical trial you might want to discuss with your doctor:

Hyperthermia/Thermal Therapy With Chemotherapy to Treat Inoperable or Metastatic Tumors … d=10223741 … amp;rank=1

The treatment combines chemo with raising patient's body temperature to a fever-like level (hypothermia). The goal is similar to fasting: create "stress" conditions for cancer cells.

I'm not sure if you heard about "Lance Armstrong effect". Lance Armstrong had metastatic testicular cancer. His cancer was unexpectedly cured by chemo. Apparently the same result was achieved in other patients with metastatic testicular cancer. 

One of the theories to explain "Lance Armstrong effect" goes like this:

Testicular cancer cells develop in a cooler environment because male testes sit outside the whole body. When testicular cancer cells metastasize to the whole body, they find themselves in a hotter environment they are not used to. The heat creates stress conditions, making chemo more effective.

Note that this is just a theory.  The linked clinical trial tries to test this theory in other types of cancers.

I found the trial by searching active trials for extrahepatic CC. The description of the trial does not mention CC as eligible. They do mention gastric cancers.

Re: Does fasting before/after chemo help?

This is such an interesting study. We did tallk to our onc about the fasting. It has been in the news a lot, but she hadnt heard of it. We gave her copies of the studies at mayo and usc, as well as the novartis study with mice. She said we are welcome to try it. We will have to be sure to hydrate. I wish that participating in a fasting clinical trial didnt require traveling across the country. We are going to trynit on our own. Has anyone here tried the hyperthermia and had success?

Re: Does fasting before/after chemo help?

At this point,I will suggest to wait until the next CT scan results to decide your next step.
CCA is a long and winging journey,and it takes courage,knowledge and patience to navigate .
The answer from your oncologist spoke about her opinion("welcome to try it",)is a clue that she IS not agree to your suggestion and she have doubt in your suggestion but if you insist,go ahead and I agree with her.(sometimes,the facial expression and the body language of the physicians speak more than they want to convey to the patient,for better or for worse).

in addition ,fasting,besides to lower the blood sugar supply to feed the cancer ,it will also force your body to  create other means (ie:hormonal changes) to adapt for the changing. Whether those adaption changes is beneficial or not ;whether your body have enough reserve to do that is the things you have to consider before jumping into this clinical trial or other as well.

God bless.

Please know that my personal opinion is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If  provided, information are for educational purposes.Consult doctor is a MUST for changing of treatment plans.