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Fasting for 2 days before chemo = 2-5x fewer healthy cells killed. - Adventures in Engineering — LiveJournal
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2008-04-01 13:59
  Subject:   Fasting for 2 days before chemo = 2-5x fewer healthy cells killed.
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Mice given a high dose of chemotherapy after fasting continued to thrive. The same dose killed half the normally fed mice, and caused lasting weight and energy loss in the survivors. The chemotherapy worked as intended on cancer, extending the lifespan of mice injected with aggressive human tumors, reported a group led by Valter Longo of the University of Southern California. Test tube experiments with human cells confirmed the differential resistance of normal and cancer cells to chemotherapy after a short period of starvation.

The idea for the study came from the Longo group’s previous research on aging in cellular systems. About five years ago, Longo was thinking about the genetic pathways involved both in the starvation response and in mammalian tumors. When the pathways are silenced, starved cells go into what Longo calls a maintenance mode characterized by extreme resistance to stresses. In essence the cells are waiting out the lean period, much like hibernating animals. But tumors by definition disobey orders to stop growing because the same genetic pathways are stuck in an "on" mode. That could mean, Longo realized, that the starvation response might differentiate normal and cancer cells by their stress resistance, and that healthy cells might withstand much more chemotherapy than cancer cells.


http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-03/uosc-anw032508.php

I wish we'd known this when my grandfather was dying of cancer two years ago.
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  User: (Anonymous)
  Date: 2008-04-01 20:25 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
It's a hard balance. Typically the problem with cancer is to get people to maintain any sort of body weight in the first place, so various diseases that would prosper in a T-cell free enviornment won't come home to roost. Almost lost a friend to this recently.
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  User: nickhalfasleep
  Date: 2008-04-01 20:46 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Amazing, any sort of method to further improve the survivability of cancer treatments will be a great help to many people.
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Triggur
  User: triggur
  Date: 2008-04-02 02:38 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
How timely.

Knowing this could come in handy shortly.
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  User: (Anonymous)
  Date: 2008-04-02 02:40 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Bleargh... someone you know in risk of having cancer?

-J
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Triggur
  User: triggur
  Date: 2008-04-02 03:10 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Me.
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  User: (Anonymous)
  Date: 2008-04-02 03:59 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Jeebus, sorry to hear. Will cross my fingers for you then.

-J
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