Could fasting while receiving chemotherapy be beneficial? 18 July 2014 Michaela Onstad MD, MPH Kristina Stemler PhD Starvation-dependent differential stress resistance protects normal but not cancer cells against high-dose chemotherapy Lizzia Raffaghello, Changhan Lee, Fernando M. Safdie, Min Wei, Federica Madia, Giovanna Bianchi, and Valter D. Longo PNAS 2008 Quick Summary • Aim – Constitutively active oncogenes prevent effective differential stress resistance • Methods – Stress yeast, primary cancer cell lines with H2O2 and chemo after STS – Stress cancer-bearing mice and controls with chemo after STS • Results (to come) • Where is the field now? Differential stress resistance against oxidants and genotoxins in yeast In vitro DSR to H2O2 treatment Rat glioma cell line Human glioma cell line Human neuroblastoma cell line In vitro DSR to cyclophosphamide treatment Human glioma cell line Human neuroblastoma cell line CP treatment (15 mg/ml) Short-term starvation protects against high dose etoposide, in vivo DSR in cancer-bearing mice Model for DSR in response to STS Effect of diet on serum IGF-1 in murine models Brandhorst et al., Exp Gerontology 2013 Fontana et al., Science 2010 Fontana et al., Science 2010 Fasting and cancer treatment in humans: A case series report Fernando M. Safdie, Tanya Dorff, David Quinn, Luigi Fontana, Min Wei, Changan Lee, Pinchas Cohen, and Valter D. Longo Aging 2009 Quick Summary • Aim- Determine feasibility and effect of fasting in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy • Methods – – – – – Descriptive case series 10 patients with different malignancies Voluntary fasting during chemotherapy Reported side-effects Effects on tumor volume, serum tumor markers • Results – Fasting was well tolerated – Fasting was associated with reduced fatigue, weakness and GI side effects – No adverse effects on tumor volume or serum tumor markers Cases Fasting Regimens • Varied in length – 48-140 hours prior to chemotherapy – 5-56 hours following chemotherapy • What was consumed during fasting was not well defined for most patients • Diet during non-fasting chemotherapy cycles was not described Measurement of Side Effects Measurement of Side Effects Other Reported Effects • Complete blood count – Absolute neutrophil count – Hemoglobin – Platelets • Tumor markers • Tumor size on imaging studies Adverse Effects of Fasting • No specific survey described to detect adverse side effects of fasting – “Minor complaints that arose during fasting included dizziness, hunger, and headaches at a level that did not interfere with daily activities” • Weight loss – “Weight lost during fasting was rapidly recovered in most of the patients and did not lead to any detectable harm” • Other measures of nutritional status? Conclusions • Fasting was well tolerated • Self-reported reduction in chemotherapyinduced side effects • Fasting did not prevent chemotherapyinduced reduction of tumor volume or tumor markers Current trials • Mayo Clinic (NCI) – All cancer types, goal recruitment 12 patients – Fast 24 hours before day 1 of course 2 of chemo. If well tolerated, escalate fasting by 12 hours for each subsequent course for up to 3 courses in the absence of unacceptable toxicity – Evaluate weight changes – Get a preliminary estimate of the longest fewasible fasting perod prior to chemo – Evaluate toxicity profile of chemo during fasting – Evaluate changes in glucose, insulin, IGF1 Current Trials • University of Southern California – Patients with advanced urothelial and pulmonary malignancies (on gemcitabine, cisplatin) – Goal 70 patients – Groups • • • • Group I- patients fast for 24 hours prior to chemo Group II- Fast for 48 hours prior to chemo Group III- Fast for 72 hours prior to chemo Group IV- Modified 48 hour fast with minimal caloric intake – Evaluate toxicity, change in plasma markers Current Trials • Charite University, Berlin – 30 women with breast or ovarian cancer – Randomized controlled cross-over trial • Fast for 60-72 hours during the first half of a 4-6 cycle regimen of chemo or fast for the same time period during the second half of chemo – Evaluate QOL using FACT-O – Evaluate fatigue, intensity of adverse affects, and laboratory assessments Further discussion • What is the real world application, would patients be amenable? • Can we utilize fasting induced chemoprotection in the clinic? – Weight loss goal or length of time? • Current standard of care for diet during chemo? • Risks related to fasting that should be considered?