Fasting Augments Chemo in Cancer Cells, Mouse Models

This article originally appeared here.
Share this content:
Fasting Augments Chemo in Cancer Cells, Mouse Models
Fasting Augments Chemo in Cancer Cells, Mouse Models

(HealthDay News) – Short cycles of starvation (fasting) sensitizes mammalian cancer cells to chemotherapeutic agents, and may increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy against cancer cells and in mouse models, according to an experimental study published online February 8 in Science Translational Medicine.

Changhan Lee, from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues examined whether fasting had any effect on chemotherapy sensitivity in yeast cells expressing the oncogene-like RAS2val19, 17 mammalian cancer cell lines, and in mouse models of neuroblastoma.

The researchers found that fasting sensitized yeast cells and 15 of the mammalian cancer cell lines to chemotherapeutic agents. For specific tumors, fasting was as effective as chemotherapeutic agents in delaying progression, and fasting increased the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic agents against melanoma, glioma, and breast cancer cells. Fasting cycles plus chemotherapy, but neither treatment alone, resulted in long-term cancer-free survival in a mouse model of neuroblastoma. Short-term starvation was associated with increased phosphorylation of stress-sensitizing kinases, oxidative stress, cleavage of caspase-3, DNA damage, and apoptosis in 4T1 breast cancer cells.

"The previously described fasting-dependent differential stress resistance of normal and cancer cells and the tumor cell-specific sensitization to chemotherapeutic agents presented here suggest that short-term starvation conditions or modified diets that promote similar changes may be able to enhance standard cancer therapies," Lee and colleagues write.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Resources

You must be a registered member of Cancer Therapy Advisor to post a comment.

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters

Regimen and Drug Listings


Bone Cancer Regimens Drugs
Brain Cancer Regimens Drugs
Breast Cancer Regimens Drugs
Endocrine Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gastrointestinal Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gynecologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Head and Neck Cancer Regimens Drugs
Hematologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Lung Cancer Regimens Drugs
Other Cancers Regimens
Prostate Cancer Regimens Drugs
Rare Cancers Regimens
Renal Cell Carcinoma Regimens Drugs
Skin Cancer Regimens Drugs
Urologic Cancers Regimens Drugs