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BMC Cancer. 2018 Apr 27;18(1):476. doi: 10.1186/s12885-018-4353-2.

The effects of short-term fasting on quality of life and tolerance to chemotherapy in patients with breast and ovarian cancer: a randomized cross-over pilot study.

Author information

1
Institute of Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany.
2
Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine, Immanuel Krankenhaus Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
3
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Bremen, PB 330440, Bremen, 28334, Germany.
4
Department of Gynecology, Krankenhaus Waldfriede, Argentinische Allee 40, 14163, Berlin, Germany.
5
Department of Gynecology, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
6
Institute of Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany. andreas.michalsen@charite.de.
7
Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine, Immanuel Krankenhaus Berlin, Berlin, Germany. andreas.michalsen@charite.de.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This pilot trial aimed to study the feasibility and effects on quality of life (QOL) and well-being of short-term fasting (STF) during chemotherapy in patients with gynecological cancer.

METHODS:

In an individually-randomized cross-over trial patients with gynecological cancer, 4 to 6 planned chemotherapy cycles were included. Thirty-four patients were randomized to STF in the first half of chemotherapies followed by normocaloric diet (group A;n = 18) or vice versa (group B;n = 16). Fasting started 36 h before and ended 24 h after chemotherapy (60 h-fasting period). QOL was assessed by the FACIT-measurement system.

RESULTS:

The chemotherapy-induced reduction of QOL was less than the Minimally Important Difference (MID; FACT-G = 5) with STF but greater than the MID for non-fasted periods. The mean chemotherapy-induced deterioration of total FACIT-F was 10.4 ± 5.3 for fasted and 27.0 ± 6.3 for non-fasted cycles in group A and 14.1 ± 5.6 for non-fasted and 11.0 ± 5.6 for fasted cycles in group B. There were no serious adverse effects.

CONCLUSION:

STF during chemotherapy is well tolerated and appears to improve QOL and fatigue during chemotherapy. Larger studies should prove the effect of STF as an adjunct to chemotherapy.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01954836 .

KEYWORDS:

Breast cancer; Chemotherapy; Fasting; Ovarian cancer; Pilot study; Quality of life

PMID:
29699509
PMCID:
PMC5921787
DOI:
10.1186/s12885-018-4353-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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