When lab mice received chemotherapy and a fasted diet, the immune system was better able to target cancer cells. There is evidence from research that intermittent fasting in any form could slow cancer tumor growth, reduce treatment side effects, boost the immune system and increase survival rates.

Intermittent fasting refers to cycles of alternating eating and refraining from eating, or fasting. Some of the different types of intermittent fasting include:

24 Fasting….. This type of fasting means not eating at all for 24 hours. This is typically done once or twice a week.

The 5:2 Diet…… The 5:2 strategy modifies 24-hour fasting. It involves restricting calories for two 24-hour periods per week. On those two days women eat 500 calories and men 600 calories.

The 16/8 Fast…… This strategy involves not eating for 16 hours every day. Most people do this by skipping breakfast, and not eating between 8:00 at night and noon the next day.

Calorie Restriction…..Calorie restriction involves reducing calorie intake by 20 to 40% every day for an extended period of time. A guideline would be 1,200 calories per day for women and 1,400 calories per day for men.

Citation Format: Nicole Stromer. [Advocate Abstract] Intermittent fasting for cancer patients [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Eleventh AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved; 2018 Nov 2-5; New Orleans, LA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020;29(6 Suppl):Abstract nr C107.