Fasting During Chemo

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Bschreibs
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Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:22 pm

Fasting During Chemo

Postby Bschreibs » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:14 pm

Hi guys,

I've recently read some interesting information about the benefits of fasting the day before/day of/day after chemo. The thought is fasting will starve the cancer cells.

Has anyone tried this or heard about the benifits from doing so?

Any feedback would be great.

Thanks so much!

Aqx99
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Location: Pfafftown, NC

Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby Aqx99 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:16 pm

No offense, but it sounds like a load of crap to me. Cancer cells and your regular cells feed the same way. There is nothing you can do to specifically starve cancer cells only. If anything, it would make getting treatment harder on the patient because they would not have the strength to fight the effects of the chemo. Also, it is best to have something on your stomach during an infusion because it helps prevent nausea.
Anne, 40
Stage IIIB Rectal Cancer
T3N1bM0
2/21/17 Diagnosis, Age 39
2/21/17 CEA 0.9 ng/mL
3/23/17 - 5/2/17 Chemoradiation, 28 treatments
6/14/17 Robotic LAR w/temp loop ileostomy, ovaries & fallopian tubes removed, 2/21 lymph nodes positive
7/24/17 - 12/18/17 CapeOx, 6 Cycles
7/24/17 Diagnosed w/ovarian cancer
9/6/17 CA 125 11.1 U/mL
11/27/17 CEA 2.6 ng/mL
12/5/17 CT showed NED
12/13/17 CEA 2.9 ng/mL
1/11/18 CA 125 8.6 U/mL
1/23/18 Reversal
3/21/18 CT showed enlarged thymus
4/6/18 PET

zephyr
Posts: 74
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Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby zephyr » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:17 pm

I'm starting this weekend and will report back. The literature from my naturopathic physician recommends starting 48 hours before chemo, and says you can have up to 500 calories a day and still get the benefits.
Oct-2009 Stage I CC
Jun-2016 Stage 3 (T3 N1c)
Jun-2016 Surgery
Jul-2016 PET: Probable Stage 4 with inoperable lung mets
Aug-2016 Folfox
Jan-2017 Dropped oxaliplatin, continuing with 5FU, added Avastin
Aug-2017 Dropped Avastin, continuing with 5FU
Dec-2017 Chemo stopped working, lung mets growing but CEA stable, considering other treatment options
Jan-2018 Begin Folfiri & Ramucirumab; also receiving Vitamin C & Quercetin by IV every week

zephyr
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:31 am

Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby zephyr » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:24 pm

Aqx99 wrote:No offense, but it sounds like a load of crap to me. Cancer cells and your regular cells feed the same way. There is nothing you can do to specifically starve cancer cells only. If anything, it would make getting treatment harder on the patient because they would not have the strength to fight the effects of the chemo. Also, it is best to have something on your stomach during an infusion because it helps prevent nausea.


The studies suggest that your normal cells go into a kind of hibernation (my interpretation) and don't eat up as much chemo, thereby reducing side effects. However, your cancer cells don't have that self-regulating mechanism so they just get hungrier and hungrier and gobble up all the chemo they can get and there's plenty extra available because your normal cells aren't taking in as much. There's actually a fair amount of interesting research here and abroad, but mostly on breast cancer patients. The thought is that it will reduce side effects (less chemo in your normal cells) and help cancer death in those troublesome cells.
Oct-2009 Stage I CC
Jun-2016 Stage 3 (T3 N1c)
Jun-2016 Surgery
Jul-2016 PET: Probable Stage 4 with inoperable lung mets
Aug-2016 Folfox
Jan-2017 Dropped oxaliplatin, continuing with 5FU, added Avastin
Aug-2017 Dropped Avastin, continuing with 5FU
Dec-2017 Chemo stopped working, lung mets growing but CEA stable, considering other treatment options
Jan-2018 Begin Folfiri & Ramucirumab; also receiving Vitamin C & Quercetin by IV every week

heiders33
Posts: 177
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:08 am

Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby heiders33 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:42 pm

I remember reading about this, and would try it if I didn't have to eat to take my Xeloda pills and to ward off nausea.
36 year-old female
May 2017: Dx rectal cancer at T3N2M0
MSS, no genetic mutations
June-July 2017: 28 days of chemo/radiation
September 2017: laparoscopic LAR surgery with loop ileostomy
October 2017 - February 2018: six rounds of mop-up XELOX
March 12, 2018: reversal

AnonSurvivor
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2015 12:04 pm

Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby AnonSurvivor » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:42 pm

After about six cycles of Folfox, I began fasting 48 hours before each infusion solely to avoid bowel movements for as long as possible after infusion. Breaking my nose was more comfortable.

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Atoq
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Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby Atoq » Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:33 pm

There are several papers by Valter Longo and his group, both on mice and humans about starving before chemio.

The idea is that normal cells respond to lower nutrient availability by going in a «stand by» modus, while cancer cells are so busy dividing that cannot stop doing it.

This would both protect healthy cells from the negative effect of chemio and make the cancer cells more vulnerable to it.

I was also interested but it was not possible with Xeloda and the 5+2 day pattern.

And the results of the human studies on a larger sample are still to be published, so there is still a lot of skepticism around this theory.

But if you starve you have to inform the doctors who are following you, because you will need extra monitoring.

Claudia
45 year old, mother of 2
Dx rectal cancer October 2017
At least T3N2aMX (suspect metastasis to one lung 8 mm)
Lynch negative
Neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy Xeloda + 25x2 Gy
05.12.17 laparotomic surgery for blockage, colostomy
25.01.18 laparotomic lar, hysterectomy, ileostomy
05.03.18 core needle biopsy of lung

Lee
Posts: 5505
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby Lee » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:21 pm

This has been around for awhile, some people though it was successful, others not so sure.

My basic understand it is suppose to make chemo work better.

Me personally, I felt keeping food in my stomach (while on chemo) kept nausea at bay. And if I don't eat, I get the shakes, grumpy and don't function very well. That day before prepping almost does me in, butt I can eat jello and fool my stomach.

Good luck, to those who try it.

Lee
rectal cancer - April 2004
46 yrs old at diagnoses
stage III C - 6/13 lymph positive
radiation - 6 weeks
surgery - August 2004/hernia repair 2014
permanent colostomy
chemo - FOLFOX
NED - 10 years and counting!

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GrouseMan
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Location: SE Michigan USA

Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby GrouseMan » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:08 pm

Many have experimented with it here in the forum over the years as a means primarily of reducing their side effects from chemo. Ashley H. Vilca, Maia and many more have reviewed the studies. Try doing a search in this forum for USC Fasting Study. There is actually quite a lot of discussion around this over the last 4 years that I recall. Most of the work was done with mice and people as usual extrapolated from that. What's the worse that could happen? You get some relief from chemo side effects, or you feel worse because you are starving! My wife practically had no problems with chemo right up until it stopped working. Her appetite was good while she could still eat. But her cancer was too advanced for something like the proposed benefits of fasting could aid her. Maybe people at earlier stages, or caught much earlier would benefit more.

Good Luck

GrouseMan
DW 53 dx Jun 2013
CT mets Liver Spleen lung. IVb CEA~110
Jul 2013 Sig Resct
8/13 FolFox,Avastin 12Tx mild sfx, Ongoing 5-FU Avastin every 3 wks.
CEA: good marker
7/7/14 CT Can't see the spleen Mets.
8/16/15 CEA Up, CT new abdominal mets. Iri, 5-FU, Avastin every 2 wks.
1/16 Iri, Erbitux and likely Avastin (Trial) CEA going >.
1/17 CEA up again dropped from Trial, Mets growth 4-6 mm in abdomen
5/2/17 Failed second trial, Hospitalized 15 days 5/11. Home Hospice 5/26, at peace 6/4/2017

StDrogo
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 7:54 pm

Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby StDrogo » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:56 am

For what it's worth, my wife water-fasted for five days every two weeks throughout her twelve cycles of FOLFOX and simultaneously reversed her profound cachexia—she was 93 lb at the beginning of treatment (BMI = 15) and finished at a respectable 138 lb (BMI = 22.5) without a single dose of steroids. She just had HIPEC a few weeks ago and remains without evident disease since her previous emergency surgery on April 4. Obviously, our current results cannot be extrapolated . . .
Wife Age 33
02/17 dx Ovarian mass, ascites, pleural effusions
03/17 Resection of 16 x 20 cm ovarian mass; CEA = 10, CA125 = 180, CA19-9 = 36
04/17 Emergency surgery, diastatic perforation, purulent peritonitis, extended right hemicolectomy, well-differentiated adenocarcinoma in splenic flexure, 1/16 lymph
11/17 CT = NED, CEA < 1
12/17 CRS (peritoneal nodules of foreign body giant cell reaction, no evidence of malignancy; liver resection—1 cm FBGCR and .5 cm focal nodular hyperplasia), HIPEC

rp1954
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Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby rp1954 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:03 am

Aqx99 wrote:....a load of crap...Cancer cells and your regular cells feed the same way. There is nothing you can do to specifically starve cancer cells only.

PET scans show IV vitamin C patients quench the radioactive intensity of their Kras/Braf mutant cancer sites, where dehydroascorbate is competitively transported with glucose and FDG (F18 radiotracer on deoxyglucose for PET). The Ras/Raf mutant cells are metabolically different; these cancer cells have more glucose transporters in the membrane AND have different redox/removal results. Related to the sugar questions, some kind(s) of high vitamin C level is retained for weeks or months in cancer cells, presumably interfering with glucose metabolism also. Also sugar spikes IGF-1.

One of the great fubars of cancer science concerns the unanswered/unasked question of which vitamin C is best under-what-conditions-when, or which kinds were actually used in any given test. The best animal experimental papers I've seen used intraperitoneal cobalt dehydroascorbate (or nearby metabolites), 25-40 yrs ago. The treated mice had lived 4x longer at sacrifice, final maximum OS unknown. No follow up since the academic researcher retired, another too-cheap-to-sponsor-cancer orphan. At this point my IV C treated wife is near the 4x dx OS point with less cobalt (oral "mega" B12) but with other necessary stuff too.

If anything, it would make getting treatment harder on the patient because they would not have the strength to fight the effects of the chemo. Also, it is best to have something on your stomach during an infusion because it helps prevent nausea.

The nausea and long term hollowing out are legit discussions, likely solvable several ways. The scientific "sugar" questions are often poisoned by various assumptions and oversimplifications, like "nothing", "feed" or "starve", in the midst of undone and unread science.

Bschreibs wrote: I've recently read some interesting information about the benefits of fasting the day before/day of/day after chemo. The thought is fasting will starve the cancer cells... Has anyone tried this or heard about the benefits from doing so?

We apply continuous, oral 5FU with mild adjunct drugs and nutraceuticals. We used general carb restriction for the first 18-24 months, calorically balanced with healthier fats/oils during the most challenging and successful years around two surgeries. She looked and felt great, even while carrying an "inoperable" LN cluster and other chemo reactive, unbiopsied masses in lungs (6mm thangs) and liver.
Last edited by rp1954 on Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
watchful, active caregiver for stage IVb CC since early 2010. immuno"Chemo forever," for mCRC

rockhound
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:00 pm

Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby rockhound » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:47 am

Bschreibs wrote:Hi guys,

I've recently read some interesting information about the benefits of fasting the day before/day of/day after chemo. The thought is fasting will starve the cancer cells.

Has anyone tried this or heard about the benifits from doing so?

Any feedback would be great.

Thanks so much!


Am fasting today for first colonoscopy tomorrow, post-treatment, etc. I cannot imagine fasting during chemo but I was not really nauseous either. Really interesting if there is actually something to this but it would be great to see more follow-up studies and data.
42 yr old male
Diagnosed December 2016, age 41
Stage 1/IIA rectal cancer - T2/3N0M0 via MRI (MRI indicates stage 1; onc/surgeon = stage 2a)
Lynch syndrome, MSH6 mutation, MSI
2 to 3/2017 Xeloda + Radiation
5/10/17 - Robotic LAR with temp. loop illeostomy, 0/20 lymph nodes
6 to 7/2017 - Six cycles Folfox @ full strength
9/20/17 - Ileostomy takedown
10/17 - Clear CT
1/18 - 5mm polyp removed during colonoscopy

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Robino1
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Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby Robino1 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:17 am

I do a moderated fast. 16/8

16 hours fasting and 8 hours normal eating. If I time it right, on chemo days I go much longer than 16. I eat after I get home.

I don't do this all week. More like 4-5 days a week. I don't know if this contributes to how well chemo is working for me but it doesn't hurt me to try.
At 54 2014 1st colonoscopy colon cancer detect
Colon resect margins clear. No chemo Stage II
2017
Distend abd, pain in intestines.
CT scan seeding & Ascites
Lap diag - cancer on the omentum
CEA 217; 219
FOLFOX started 6/17
CEA 202
8/29/17 CT melting of tumor.
12/8/17 Markedly decr ant peritoneal nodularity since 8/29/17 compat w/ marked posi respns to therapy
CEA: (2017)9/30 -109; 10/12 -99.1; 11/4 -90.7; 11/30 -70.7; 12/14 -83.4; (2018)1/4 -73.3; 2/1-84.2; 89.2; 89.8; 88.5; 81.8
BRAF V600e

rockhound
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:00 pm

Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby rockhound » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:07 pm

Robino1 wrote:I do a moderated fast. 16/8

16 hours fasting and 8 hours normal eating. If I time it right, on chemo days I go much longer than 16. I eat after I get home.

I don't do this all week. More like 4-5 days a week. I don't know if this contributes to how well chemo is working for me but it doesn't hurt me to try.


That sounds really doable- do you find you get hungry during the chemo? I was a bit hungry, but seems like I could have pushed it off too ala 16 hrs.
42 yr old male
Diagnosed December 2016, age 41
Stage 1/IIA rectal cancer - T2/3N0M0 via MRI (MRI indicates stage 1; onc/surgeon = stage 2a)
Lynch syndrome, MSH6 mutation, MSI
2 to 3/2017 Xeloda + Radiation
5/10/17 - Robotic LAR with temp. loop illeostomy, 0/20 lymph nodes
6 to 7/2017 - Six cycles Folfox @ full strength
9/20/17 - Ileostomy takedown
10/17 - Clear CT
1/18 - 5mm polyp removed during colonoscopy

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Robino1
Posts: 417
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:09 pm
Facebook Username: Robin.lawthers
Location: Florida

Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby Robino1 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:59 pm

rockhound wrote:
Robino1 wrote:I do a moderated fast. 16/8

16 hours fasting and 8 hours normal eating. If I time it right, on chemo days I go much longer than 16. I eat after I get home.

I don't do this all week. More like 4-5 days a week. I don't know if this contributes to how well chemo is working for me but it doesn't hurt me to try.


That sounds really doable- do you find you get hungry during the chemo? I was a bit hungry, but seems like I could have pushed it off too ala 16 hrs.


Water does a decent job of filling that empty space ;). Seriously though, if it is a long session, take a snack. Watch the clock and any time after 16 hours is bonus time (that's the way I think of it :D )

I take almonds and nibble on those if things go longer than I planned. Since my resection was 3+ years ago, I don't have the problems of nuts or fiber going through my intestines and causing issues. Cheese is also a nice snack. Just chunk a brick of cheese and put in a ziplock bag.

I like to make sure I have my dinner done and in me by 5:00 pm. That lets me have calories at 9:00 am. On chemo days, I can stretch that to having a snack after I've gotten in the chair (after blood work has come back and I'm given the green light to proceed).

I can drink plain coffee so that helps. :)
At 54 2014 1st colonoscopy colon cancer detect
Colon resect margins clear. No chemo Stage II
2017
Distend abd, pain in intestines.
CT scan seeding & Ascites
Lap diag - cancer on the omentum
CEA 217; 219
FOLFOX started 6/17
CEA 202
8/29/17 CT melting of tumor.
12/8/17 Markedly decr ant peritoneal nodularity since 8/29/17 compat w/ marked posi respns to therapy
CEA: (2017)9/30 -109; 10/12 -99.1; 11/4 -90.7; 11/30 -70.7; 12/14 -83.4; (2018)1/4 -73.3; 2/1-84.2; 89.2; 89.8; 88.5; 81.8
BRAF V600e


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