Effects of Short-term Fasting on Tolerance to Chemotherapy

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Basic Trial Information

PhaseTypeStatusAgeSponsorProtocol IDs
No phase specifiedSupportive careApproved-not yet active18 and overOtherP10.247

Trial Description


The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of short-term fasting on tolerance to adjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer patients

Further Study Information

Evidence from experimental animals provides strong support for the concept that caloric restriction (CR) increases resistance to multiple forms of stress. CR decreases plasma levels of growth factors, e.g. insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), thereby diverting energy from growth to maintenance. Accordingly, the currently available information suggests that short-term fasting protects normal cells against the perils of (high dose) chemotherapy. In contrast, cancer cells are not (or less) protected as a result of their self-sufficiency in growth signals. This phenomenon is termed Differential Stress Resistance (DSR). DSR reduces the severity of side-effects caused by the toxicity of chemotherapy, without interfering with its effect on reduction of tumour volume or tumour markers. A recent report, sketching a case series of 10 cancer patients, suggests that short term fasting protects against the side effects of chemotherapy in humans. Indeed, the majority of patients preferred fasting over feeding in preparation of their therapy. This study aims to further evaluate the impact of fasting on tolerance to chemotherapy in humans.

Eligibility Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Female breast cancer patients, receiving adjuvant TAC-chemotherapy
  • Age ≥ 18 years old
  • WHO performance status 0-2
  • Adequate bone marrow function: white blood cells (WBCs) ≥ 3.0 x 109/l, neutrophils ≥ 1.5 x 109/l, platelets ≥ 100 x 109/l
  • Adequate liver function: bilirubin ≤ 1.5 x upper limit of normal (UNL) range, ALAT and/or ASAT ≤ 2.5 x UNL, Alkaline Phosphatase ≤5 x UNL
  • Adequate renal function: the calculated creatinine clearance should be ≥ 50 mL/min
  • Survival expectation > 3 months
  • Patients must be accessible for treatment and follow-up
  • Written informed consent according to the local Ethics Committee requirements

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Serious other diseases such as recent myocardial infarction, clinical signs of cardiac failure or clinically significant arrhythmias
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • body mass index (BMI) < 19 kg/m2
  • Pregnancy or lactating
  • Medical or psychological condition which in the opinion of the investigator would not permit the patient to complete the study or sign meaningful informed consent

Trial Contact Information

Trial Lead Organizations/Sponsors

Leiden University Medical Center

  • Ziekenhuis Bronovo
Hanno Pijl, MD PhD, Principal Investigator
Hanno Pijl, MD PhD
Ph: 0031715263738
Email: H.Pijl@lumc.nl

Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.
NLM Identifier NCT01304251
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on March 03, 2015

Note: Information about this trial is from the ClinicalTrials.gov database. The versions designated for health professionals and patients contain the same text. Minor changes may be made to the ClinicalTrials.gov record to standardize the names of study sponsors, sites, and contacts. Cancer.gov only lists sites that are recruiting patients for active trials, whereas ClinicalTrials.gov lists all sites for all trials. Questions and comments regarding the presented information should be directed to ClinicalTrials.gov.