Fasting and cancer: molecular mechanisms and clinical application

Alessio Nencioni, Irene Caffa, Salvatore Cortellino and Valter D. Longo
Nature Reviews – Cancer volume 18, November 2018

The vulnerability of cancer cells to nutrient deprivation and their dependency on specific metabolites are emerging hallmarks of cancer.

Fasting or fasting- mimicking diets (FMDs) lead to wide alterations in growth factors and in metabolite levels, generating environments that can reduce the capability of cancer cells to adapt and survive and thus improving the effects of cancer therapies.

In addition, fasting or FMDs increase resistance to chemotherapy in normal but not cancer cells and promote regeneration in normal tissues, which could help prevent detrimental and potentially life- threatening side effects of treatments.

While fasting is hardly tolerated by patients, both animal and clinical studies show that cycles of low- calorie FMDs are feasible and overall safe.

Several clinical trials evaluating the effect of fasting or FMDs on treatment- emergent adverse events and on efficacy outcomes are ongoing.

We propose that the combination of FMDs with chemotherapy , immunotherapy or other treatments represents a potentially promising strategy to increase treatment efficacy , prevent resistance acquisition and reduce side effects.

PLoS Genetics January 2008

Life Span Extension by Calorie Restriction Depends on Rim15 and Transcription Factors Downstream of Ras/PKA, Tor, and Sch9

Translational Medicine February 2, 2011

Growth hormone receptor deficiency is associated with a major reduction in pro-aging signaling, cancer, and diabetes in humans..

NPG July 28, 2011

Fasting vs. dietary restriction in cellular protection and cancer treatment: from model organisms to patients.

Dietary Interventions, Cardiovascular Aging, and Disease Animal Models and Human Studies

Hamed Mirzaei, Stefano Di Biase, Valter D. Longo, Circ Res. 2016;118:1612-1625.

Recent studies indicate that dietary interventions have the potential to prevent and even treat cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death.

Many of these studies have focused on various animal models that are able to recreate one or more conditions or elevate risk factors that characterize the disease.

Here, we highlight macronutrient-focused interventions in both mammalian model organisms and humans with emphasis on some of the most relevant and well-established diets known to be associated with cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment.

We also discuss more recent dietary interventions in rodents, monkeys, and humans, which affect atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases with focus on those that also delay aging.