Introduction/Background First-evidence exists that fasting during chemotherapy (CHT) reduces peripheral blood immunosuppressive myeloid cells while increasing cytotoxic cells. Furthermore, it might protect healthy cells from damage and increase quality of life (QoL) during CHT. However, fasting periods of 60–90h are not feasible for many patients. We aim to assess the effects of short-term intermittent fasting on QoL, immunological changes and peripheral cell damage during CHT.
Methodology In this multicenter, randomized-controlled trial 110 female patients with breast/cervical/endometrial or ovarian cancer, planned to receive intravenous CHT are recruited. The intervention group will follow a 16:8h fasting regimen with a 24h fast on the day of CHT. The control group is encouraged to follow a healthy, mediterranean diet. Both groups will receive a dietary counselling session. Primary endpoint is the change in fatigue during 3 months of CHT. Secondary endpoints will assess the distribution of peripheral blood mononuclear cells collected at baseline, after 1 week, 7 weeks and 13 weeks of CHT and peripheral DNA cell damage (measured by yH2AX concentration) at week 0, 6 and 12 of CHT. Changes of the insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) are also measured over the course of the trial.
Results This is an ongoing trial. So far, 10 patients (2 with ovarian cancer, 8 with breast cancer) have been recruited for the study. Compliance with the intermittent fasting regiment is high.
Conclusion Intermittent fasting is a generally feasible dietary concept and has shown to reduce IGF-1 and fatigue in healthy patients, highlighting its great potential for patients receiving CHT. Should this trial be able to demonstrate reduced fatigue during CHT, or to protect healthy cells and promote the antitumor activity of the immune system, intermittent fasting could truly be a beneficial option for patients wanting to actively effect their oncological treatment and outcome.
Disclosures The authors declare no conflict of interest regarding this trial.
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