Short-Term Fasting Before Chemotherapy in Treating Patients With Cancer

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Basic Trial Information

PhaseTypeStatusAgeSponsorProtocol IDs
No phase specifiedBiomarker/Laboratory analysis, Supportive care, TreatmentClosed18 and overNCI, OtherMC09C3
NCI-2010-01572, P30CA015083, NCT01175837

Trial Description


This clinical trial studies short-term fasting before chemotherapy in treating patients with cancer. Fasting before chemotherapy may protect normal cells from the side effects of chemotherapy.

Further Study Information


I. Assess the safety and feasibility of short-term fasting prior to administration of chemotherapy.


I. Evaluate weight changes in patients who are exposed to short-term fasting prior to chemotherapy.

II. Get a preliminary estimate of the longest feasible fasting period prior to chemotherapy.

III. Evaluate the toxicity profile of systemic chemotherapy treatment in patients who undergo short-term fasting prior to treatment.

IV. Investigate changes in plasma glucose, insulin, Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and IGF-1binding proteins (BP) in patients who undertake short-term fasting.


COHORT I: Patients fast 24 hours before day 1 of course 2 of chemotherapy. If fast is well tolerated, patients may escalate fasting by 12 hours for each subsequent course of chemotherapy for up to 3 courses in the absence of unacceptable toxicity.

COHORT II: Patients fast at the longest fasting regimen found to be safe and tolerable in cohort I before day 1 of each course of course of chemotherapy for up to 4 courses in the absence of unacceptable toxicity.

Eligibility Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Histologically confirmed malignancy
  • Scheduled to undergo 4 or more cycles of chemotherapy (with or without past chemotherapy treatment); NOTE: Acceptable chemotherapy regimens are those that have all drugs infused on the first day of the chemotherapy cycle over a period =< 8 hours; EXCEPTION: Continuous 5-FU-containing regimens (such as FOLFOX6 and FOLFIRI) are allowed as both the 5-FU bolus as well as the oxaliplatin and irinotecan administration is completed on day 1 of chemotherapy
  • Life expectancy of >= 168 days (6 months)
  • Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status 0 or 1
  • Body mass index (BMI) > 21 kg/m^2
  • Weight loss < 5% of body weight in the last 168 days (6 months)
  • Adequate renal function (serum creatinine < 1.5 X UNL [upper normal limit] or creatinine clearance > 50 ml/min)
  • Negative pregnancy test done =< 7 days prior to registration, for women of childbearing potential only
  • Provide informed consent
  • Ability to complete patient booklet by themselves or with assistance
  • Ability and willingness to undergo >= 24-hour fast prior to chemotherapy
  • Willingness to be treated at Mayo Clinic Rochester and be available for follow-up
  • Patient willing to provide blood samples for correlative research purposes

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Any of the following:
  • Pregnant women;
  • Nursing women;
  • Men or women of childbearing potential who are unwilling to employ adequate contraception throughout the study period
  • Diabetes mellitus undergoing therapy with insulin or oral agents
  • History of low serum glucose (hypoglycemia) or insulinoma
  • History of syncope with calorie restriction in the past or other medical comorbidity, which would make fasting potentially dangerous
  • On daily medication that may not be safely taken without food; NOTE: Any non-essential medications and herbal/vitamin supplements should be held to minimize stomach upset during fasting; vitamin C use is discouraged
  • Active gastric or duodenal peptic ulcer disease
  • History of significant cardiac disease, particularly uncompensated congestive heart failure New York Heart Association (NYHA) grade 2 or more or left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) < 40% on any prior assessment; NOTE: Assessment of LVEF prior to therapy is not required in the absence of other clinical indicators of heart disease
  • Recent history (< 6 months) of cerebrovascular accident or transient ischemic attacks
  • History of gout or elevated uric acid level
  • Psychiatric conditions that preclude adherence to study protocol
  • Serious intercurrent infections or nonmalignant medical illnesses that are uncontrolled or whose control may potentially be jeopardized by the complications of fasting
  • Patients receiving parenteral nutrition
  • Receiving steroids (except dexamethasone given for nausea prevention before chemotherapy)
  • Patients receiving taxotere-containing chemotherapy regimens requiring pre-treatment steroid administration
  • Receiving concomitant treatment with insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-receptor blockers or monoclonal antibodies targeting the IGF ligands
  • Any of the following (prior to registration):
  • =< 7 days from the time of a minor surgery;
  • =< 21 days from the time of major surgery;
  • =< 21 days from the time of radiation therapy
  • Currently enrolled in a concomitant clinical trial

Trial Contact Information

Trial Lead Organizations/Sponsors

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center

  • National Cancer Institute
Charles L. Loprinzi, Principal Investigator

Link to the current record.
NLM Identifier NCT01175837 processed this data on April 09, 2015

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