Has anyone tried fasting before chemotherapy? (Dr. Valter Longo study)

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RE: Has anyone tried fasting before chemotherapy? (Dr. Valter Longo study)

by chriscrossan on Mon Sep 15, 2014 05:43 PM

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Hi Richard, I'm glad you posted a note about your cancer and your desire to try fasting.  I just read a new study by Dr. Longo which shows that even apart from the actual chemotherapy infusion, periodic fasting can help cause the cancer cells to do apoptosis (self-destruction), enabling the tumors to shrink or to at least grow at a slower pace.  I am currently fasting 34 hours each week. I do it in the following way: after dinner on Thursday evening, I drink only water or herbal tea (without sugar!) until Saturday breakfast. That leaves my body about 34 hours to deplete my bloodstream of the normal sugars and proteins that feed all my cells. The normal cells will go into a kind of hybernation, while the cancer cells go into apoptosis.  Here is the pdf of his research if you're interested. It's a bit technical but still understandable if you're patient...    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3608686/pdf/nihm

God bless you, and may he fill you with his peace during this valley of darkness.

RE: Has anyone tried fasting before chemotherapy? (Dr. Valter Longo study)

by ycs12 on Wed Sep 17, 2014 04:51 PM

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Hi Chris,

I (52 yrs old asian female) am recently diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer (spread to liver) and will start chemo from next week.  I am very interested in fasting but my chemo takes almost three days.  About 8 hrs of injection followed by another 46 hrs of injection in every two weeks. So if I want to fast, seems like I need to fast at least 5 or 6 days (2 days fasting before chemo and 1 day after chemo).  Have you heard about this long fasting every other week?   What do you think?  Sorry for all these questions but I don't know where I can start.  I am totally devastated. Any help/comment will be appreciated.

CSY

RE: Has anyone tried fasting before chemotherapy? (Dr. Valter Longo study)

by chriscrossan on Wed Sep 17, 2014 05:22 PM

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Hi my dear friend, wow - this is devastating news that you were diagnosed with such a serious condition. I'm so sorry to hear this. I will be praying for you as you embark on this difficult road, not only physically, but also emotionally. 

I am not a doctor, so please don't quote me as one having any medical expertise whatsoever. I only write you as a fellow cancer patient who has been using fasting as part of my treatment plan. But if I were given your prognosis, and the particular regimen of chemo they are scheduling for you, I would probably do the following: first, I would eat normally until the night before my eight-hour infusion. That is, I would enjoy a full dinner that evening, with dessert...:)  Then for the day of the infusion I would eat nothing and drink only water or herbal tea without sugar. Then, depending on how depleted I felt, I would try to postpone eating the following day during your 46-hour infusion. Perhaps I could stand to go without food until lunch...I don't know. But the longer you are able to wait for that meal when you break your fast, the more of the chemo poison will have gone through your body and into the toilet...  They say that chemo has a half-life of less than 24 hours.  So if in the end, you can go 30 hours without food, that will be very helpful for your body's ability to endure the chemo with less side-effects than someone who eats throughout the infusion. In this way every two weeks you can 'brace yourself', so to speak, for the onslaught of poison that your body will be enduring.

The second thing I would do, if I had such a serious prognosis, is to try to deal with my future truthfully. If doctors say that statistically you might have 18 months to 36 months left here on earth, then I would consider the question, what would I like to accomplish in the next 18 months before I depart?  Is there anything I want to say or give to my family, my children, my close friends?  Is there anything I should write down as a memory or journal of my life, so that others can read it after I'm gone?  Then, if your life is extended beyond the 18 months, you can savor that 'bonus time.'

And last of all, if you should be a woman of faith, then I would consider imagining what it will be like to stand at the gates of heaven. In my original cancer prognosis, the statistics were 11 months on average. So in the midst of many tears and much sorrow, I began to seriously contemplate heaven and meeting Jesus - the one I had given my life to serve. It was the passages in the New Testament which describe this event after death, that ended up giving me solace and comfort. I will pray that it does the same for you.  God bless you,  Chris 

 

RE: Has anyone tried fasting before chemotherapy? (Dr. Valter Longo study)

by ycs12 on Wed Sep 17, 2014 07:22 PM

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Dear Chris,

Thank you so much for your helpful advice.  I still can't believe my status since I do not have any symptoms. Very unrealistic.......

I will try to start with those 3 days fasting and see how it goes.  Will keep you updated.  Thank you so much again.

God bless you.

CSY 

RE: Has anyone tried fasting before chemotherapy? (Dr. Valter Longo study)

by malimo on Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:12 AM

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Hello,

I am about to begin a 6x chemo protocol for breast cancer. I am wondering about fasting. Would you mind telling me how long you fasted for prior to chemo and how much protein you ate? Where did you find your fasting protocol?

Thank you,

Molly

RE: Has anyone tried fasting before chemotherapy? (Dr. Valter Longo study)

by chriscrossan on Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:23 AM

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Hi Molly,

Thanks for your message. I developed my own fasting schedule, basing it on the research of Dr. Longo and my own preferences. If the chemo protocol you're on gives you a one time infusion every 2 or 3 weeks, then this might work for you too. This is what I did with my chemo protocol: The night before my infusion I ate a large dinner with plenty of protein. Then on the day of my infusion, I ate no breakfast, lunch or dinner, but simply drank herbal tea without sugar or water. Then the following morning I ate breakfast, etc. So that means I went about 30 hours straight without eating food, and it seems to have helped mitigate against the side effects.  I hope this helps, and I'll pray that your cancer will never return!  Chris

RE: Has anyone tried fasting before chemotherapy? (Dr. Valter Longo study)

by danaterrell on Sat Jul 18, 2015 06:36 AM

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On Oct 03, 2013 1:12 PM cnick100 wrote:

According to the NCI Cancer Bulletin, July 10, 2012, Vol. 9/Number 14, Inf2008, the laboratory of Dr. Valter Longo, a professor of gerontology and biological science at the University of Southern California performed a study which showed that fasting for a period of time prior to receiving chemotherapy can reduce the side effects of chemotherapy as well as protect healthy cells from, while making cancer cells more vulnerable to, the effects of chemotherapy.

The USC team is now studying how fasting can reduce side effects in people receiving chemotherapy. Dr. Longo has helped design three ongoing early-phase clinical trials examining this question (at USC, the Mayo Clinic, and Leiden University in the Netherlands).

And a consortium of 12 hospitals in the United States and Europe is planning two trials, each with more than 800 patients, Dr. Longo noted. One trial will look at whether fasting can reduce chemotherapy side effects, and the other will look at whether fasting can influence both side effects and drug efficacy (as observed in mice).

***

I will be beginning my first round of chemotherapy this Tuesday, Oct. 8 and would like to know if anyone else has tried this. I have met with my oncologist only once and did not think to ask him his opinion on this.

Hi, cnick100,

My husband Dave just completed a 48 hour fast before, and 22 hour fast after, his 2nd chemo treatment of Cisplatin and another drug for his adenocarcinoma of the lung spread to liver and brain (brain got 10 radiation treatments first).  He fasted on ample water, 2 Cups of miso soup a day (never boil miso, just simmer it), and a triple dose of Juice Plus (a whole food in capsules)  Miso and Juice plus were recommended by an acupuncturist familiar with the practice of fasting for chemo patients since 1976 in Boulder, Colorado.

My husband reported these changes from his first chemo session:  reduction of physical strength to 25% previous strength, edema of the feet, and an empty feeling in the brain, and the sense that people are objects instead of people.  Its very distressing to see these effects in a wonderful man.

We advocated with his treatment team. His oncologist had another patient fasting for chemo, who has colon cancer.  This man is a researcher himself and found Longo's research online. He had never fasted in his life. The oncologist said he had no problem with patients fasting.  The oncological nurse was certain he would get nausea.  Her patients who didn't eat a lot before chemo always got nausea.  But she was willing to let him do what he wanted to do.

He had his chemo treatment Monday this week.  He came back saying it was a "great" treatment!  He could feel the chemo attacking his cancer, rather than previously when it attacked his whole body.  We were thrilled.

The research indicates that people regain weight quicker when they fast with chemo rather than if they didn't.  We will watch and report later to see if that is true.  We are hoping that with his healthy cells being protected, he will regain his strength better, too.

He is planning to fast before and after every chemo treatment. Thank you, cnick for initiating the conversation.  It is an important one, and I love the intelligence of helping the chemo do it's intended damage to cancer but protecting the healthy cells.  I think it is super-cool that healthy cells can go into a protected state of suspended animation, but that cancer cells do not have the talent or flexibility to do that!   

RE: Has anyone tried fasting before chemotherapy? (Dr. Valter Longo study)

by danaterrell on Sat Jul 18, 2015 06:41 AM

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P.S.  Dave did not experience any nausea from fasting with chemo.  Sorry I forgot to mention that!

RE: Has anyone tried fasting before chemotherapy? (Dr. Valter Longo study)

by kaylaandrews04 on Tue Aug 25, 2015 07:10 PM

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On Jan 21, 2015 12:12 AM malimo wrote:

Hello,

I am about to begin a 6x chemo protocol for breast cancer. I am wondering about fasting. Would you mind telling me how long you fasted for prior to chemo and how much protein you ate? Where did you find your fasting protocol?

Thank you,

Molly

Apparently 48 hours prior and 24 hours after the infusion is typical and it should be as close to a true fast as possible.  I read this off an article written by an ND oncology specalist http://yaletownnaturopathic.com/fasting-before-chemotherapy/

Hopefully this information helps!

RE: Has anyone tried fasting before chemotherapy? (Dr. Valter Longo study)

by chriscrossan on Tue Aug 25, 2015 07:59 PM

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Hi Molly,

thanks for your question on the length of the fast. Having just read the article, I would agree that 48 hours before and 24 hours after the infusion would be ideal. For me, I didn't know if I could hold out that long, so I did a 30-hour fast; I ate dinner the night before, then I fasted on my infusion day all three meals, and then I ate breakfast the following morning. So on the day of my infusion I ate nothing, and just drank herbal tea without sugar or water. I noticed that my blood counts stayed high, and my hair didn't even fall out, at least in the beginning...  I hope this helps! Chris Crossan

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