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NCI Cancer Center News

USC study finds fasting weakens cancer in mice

  • Posted: February 9, 2012

Cancer in animals appears less resilient and chemotherapy drugs work better when combined with cycles of short, severe fasting, shows a University of Southern California study. Even fasting on its own effectively treated a majority of cancers tested in animals, including cancers from human cells. The study in Science Translational Medicine, part of the Science family of journals, found that five out of eight cancer types in mice responded to fasting alone: Just as with chemotherapy, fasting slowed the growth and spread of tumors.

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Among the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 66 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.