Can Fasting Blunt Chemotherapy’s Debilitating Side Effects?

Asking a cancer patient to fast while under-going chemotherapy may seem like adding insult to injury. But a dramatic experiment in mice has led some researchers to suggest that fasting may blunt the side effects of cancer treatment and perhaps even allow patients to tolerate higher drug doses. The idea is considered radical, even worrying, to some oncologists—especially because patients have already begun trying it on their own. Now, a clinical trial, in which patients undergoing chemotherapy for bladder and lung cancer will fast for as long as 3 days with only water to drink, is slated to begin in the next 2 months.