Sunday, July 24, 2016

Fasting or fasting-mimicking diet synergize with anti-tumor chemotherapy

Two new papers in Cancer Cell caught my attention this week. In these studies scientists showed that fasting or fasting-mimicking diet (low calorie diet or calorie restriction mimetics) synergize with anti-cancer chemotherapy in a T cell-dependent manner.

For example, in one study it was found that in mice 48h fasting (0 calorie, very harsh "diet") or application of calorie restriction mimetics such as hydroxycitrate (that reduces cellular protein acetylation, thereby increasing autophagic flux) synergized with such anti-cancer chemotherapies as mitoxantrone (MTX) in a CD8 T cell-dependent manner.

Interestingly, this calorie restriction mimetic (HC) could not further enhance anti-cancer effect of chemotherapy in regulatory T cell-depleted [anti-FR4 treated] mice (i.e. it worked by restraining Tregs function).

Another paper also showed that fasting-mimicking diet could also reduce toxic effect of chemotherapy on healthy tissue in WT or T cell-deficient mice (independent of its anti-cancer synergy).

In summary, these two papers support idea that controlled calorie restriction could provide benefits to cancer patients during chemotherapy.

David Usharauli

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