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Interesting concept

ShadyGuy's picture
ShadyGuy
Posts: 397
Joined: Jan 2017

Has anyone looked into this? Sounds like the old saying “feed the patient feed the cancer”. 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/03/12/fasting-for-three-days-can-regenerate-entire-immune-system-study/

 

Evarista
Posts: 261
Joined: May 2017

I see that this researcher has written a kind of op-ed on the subject (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29463451) but do not see a peer-reviewed publication yet.  It will be interesting to see.  Also note that the Telegraph article has at least one error (USC vs. U of California), so "grain of salt" for me.  Given the starvation that many of endure while undergoing chemo, I'm a mite skeptical, but will reserve judgement until they publish. Hope things are going well, Shady.

Rocquie's picture
Rocquie
Posts: 831
Joined: Mar 2013

I find the article vague. First, exactly what is meant by "fast"? Total abstinence of all food? Eating sparingly or of only certain food, as allowed in certain religious observance?  Is water allowed? What about medications? When "re-feed" begins at 72 hours (and "blood cells come back") how is that accomplished? Does it begin with rice and herbal tea or just jumping in with pizza and french fries? 

I know that once, when I was in the hospital, I went for at least 72 hours without eating. But I was receiving IV fluids. Was that a fast? 

I hope you are feeling well after your first treatment and ready for the next. I will see my oncologist on Tuesday for the first time in 6 months. I must admit the closer it gets, the more anxious I feel. I wonder if we will ever get over the feeling? 

Best,

Rocquie

 

 

ShadyGuy's picture
ShadyGuy
Posts: 397
Joined: Jan 2017

with your onc visit! Unfortunately that feeling may be a permanent fixture.

ShadyGuy's picture
ShadyGuy
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Joined: Jan 2017

Definitely not a scientific article. I assumed “fast” to mean absence of all food but allowing water. However this article does not specify. I do think that the body has defense mechanisms for emergency situations. As always I am a skeptic but interested in what if anything comes of this. These groups live and die by grants. This may just be publicity to help get a grant.

I am doing pretty well so far. That awful head cold just won’t go away. Also having trouble sleeping more than 3-4 hours per night due to coughing and fluid draining from sinuses to my lungs. I found that sleeping face down with a small pillow under my chest keeps my head lower than my chest and stops most of the drainage. Downside is it comes out my nose instead. OTC drugs help but contribute to the sleeplessness. Blood work tomorrow and Dr will decide if I need medications, posdibly acyclovir or a similar antiviral. Second 4-day session on 17th.

Cheers all!

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
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I have not read the article, and won't, given the stated thesis. But thank you for submitting.  These sorts of "Breakthrough Announcements" are very common at the Prostate Board, but for some reason less frequently seen here. The main eternal myth at Prostate is that Reefer will both cure and prevent prostate cancer, which every university study ever done 100% repudiates.  And there are many others.  Sorry to digress.

IF true regarding fasting, then every Catholic on earth (due to Lent), every Jew on earth (due to Passover), and every Muslim (due to the Holy Time of Ramadan) would be free of cancer.  My sister-in-laws have done magic "colon purges" over the years, to "gain vitality, health, and weight loss."  

In addition, MOST people on chemo go protracted periods without eating; we read that here daily...ergo, all cancer patients should have no cancer.

I know, I am oversimplifying a bit, but you get my point.

Generally, I believe all cancers to be unrelated to diet, and all cures of all cancers to be similiarly unrelated to diet. There are a few clear exceptions: Alcoholics and esophageal cancers; lifetime heavy smokers and lung cancer....

Bless your current salvage therapy and movement toward N.E.D.  I wish you well daily,

max

ShadyGuy's picture
ShadyGuy
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Joined: Jan 2017

I find it an interesting approach. As far as fasting, Ramadan is one 28-day lunar cycle per year when fasting is required of the believer only between sunrise and sunset. I have stood in long lines waiting for the evening meal at the Hyatt in Muscat. I think people there actually eat more during Ramadan but just eat it at night. A hearty breakfast is served in the morning just before sunrise. The clocks ring in local sunset and sunrise based on your location. And then Eide which celebrates the end of Ramadan is another big feast. So that is not the kind of fasting the author was referring to. He stated no food for 72 hours.

Thanks. I agree there are no magic cures. There is an entire industry built around trying to convince people that there are- everything from cannabis oil to electrolyzed alkaline water. They all have disclaimers saying the product is “not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any illness”. This story is different in that nothing is for sale-except maybe a study. Fasting is free.

 

lindary's picture
lindary
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Joined: Mar 2015

I've heard my share of people who say if you avoid "X" you won't get cancer or eat "XX' to help make the cancer go away. I agree with Max in that if it were true certain groups of people would never have cancer. As far as I know no such group has been found. 

Once I knew the chemo I was going to get I looked up suplements food could conflict with them. My take was to avoid anything that could take away from what the chemo was trying to do. Example - I love herbal teas but some of the herbs used could affect how the chemo works. To be "safe" I did not drink any herbal teas until Chemo was officially done. That ended up being a little over a year. That limited me to black and green tea.

The whole idea of fasting I find interesting. I would say when I do fast it is usually semi-unintentional. Running late in the morning so I skip breakfast. Also forget to bring lunch to work and don't like the options at the cafeteria and then get home and really not hunger. 

When you get down to the reality, we do what we can to help us to survive. 

PBL
Posts: 184
Joined: Jul 2016

Hello Linda,

Just a quick reply to your remark:

I believe one of Dr Longo's sources of inspiration is just one such group of people - those with Laron Syndrome, whom he has visited and studied (if I remember correctly) in Ecuador. This syndrome causes a form of dwarfism as these people do not produce or respond to growth hormone. It also seems to make them literally immune to cancer, despite unhealthy lifestyle choices.

Hence the link between IGF1 and cancer, and the notion that perhaps reducing the IGF level through some targeted form of fasting would - among other benefits - help fend off or contain the cancer.

PBL

lindary's picture
lindary
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Joined: Mar 2015

PBL,

I understand and agree with what you have said. There do seem to be a set of conditions that could keep cancer away, or at leasst certain types of cancer. 

It's like the link between smoking and small-cell lung cancer. Most people that smoke do not get small-cell lung cancer. Of the people that do get small-cell lung cancer 80-90% are smokers. But there are so many types that causes are unknown. 

It could be something as dumb as our immunity system sleeping on the job.

 

Evarista
Posts: 261
Joined: May 2017

Looking at this investigator's CV, he seems reputable, with a reasonable publication and funding history.  However, the Telegraph article seems to be picking up on some of his older work; not clear that he is currently funded for that.  His most recent research & funding is primarily in yeast, so his fasting and cancer studies may not be ongoing at the mo.

While I'm pretty much with Max on this overall, I did find this far more interesting and research that you (Shady) may wish to follow:  https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2018/01/cancer-vaccine-eliminates-tumors-in-mice.html  This work has moved into clinical trials for pediatric leukemia.  IIRC, that's where the first trials on CAR T-cells were done.  As someone who is not a candidate for the current CAR-T protocols (CD19neg, CD22lo tumor), I will be following this with considerable interest. 

ShadyGuy's picture
ShadyGuy
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I asked about this and vaccines before my salvage therapy began. Got the run around. I would need a biopsy and full workup to even be considered. Another issue is my tumors are not easily accessible for biopsy or injections. This type of approach is, in my opinion, the wave of the future and our best hope for a cure. I plan to watch it closely. If I get an NED from this treatment I plan to ask about vaccines as a maintenance regimen instead of Rituxan. Not sure if they do that for FNHL yet. For now I just want to get through this treatment and feel better. You are a very well informed person and I appreciate very much your input. 

Evarista
Posts: 261
Joined: May 2017

Shady, I think that it is quite possible that some of us will be candiates for this kind of therapy, or at least clinical trials, not too many years down the road.  I will probably "age out", but you might not.  Right now, I think the trials are limited to the under-21 yo set.  That seems to be normal: pediatric leukemias.

PBL
Posts: 184
Joined: Jul 2016

Most people have strong sets of beliefs when it comes to food and eating habits. Personally, I have always found that I didn't do all that well on "three square meals a day", so stumbling upon Dr Longo's work in a documentary some years before my cancer diagnosis had aroused my interest. As I was headed for chemotherapy in 2016, and since I knew for a fact that I could tolerate even relatively prolonged, complete fasting (i.e., water-only - no one can, nor should, try to go without water!) I decided to self-administer his "fast-mimicking diet". However, knowing that this would likely be met with incomprehension, I kept that to myself. My logic there was that I was nowhere near cachectic, I was not putting anything in my body that would likely interfere with the treatment, and as noted above by Evarista, many patients on chemotherapy can in effect lose their appetite - so I could pretty much do as I pleased... I was essentially looking to at least alleviate treatment side effects, and - why not - help the chemo do its job. I cannot say anything more about my experience than, I'm still around to type this. Oh, and maybe this: my hematologist did remark that my bone marrow "seemed to be defending itself extremely well".

If you are looking for scientific articles, I suggest starting here [https://valterlongo.com/cancer/].

PBL

ShadyGuy's picture
ShadyGuy
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Thank you.

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
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Shady,

It is indeed true that religious fasting, in real-world practice, has "qualifications."  We had a priest one Sunday remind people that "going out for lobster on Fridays is not really keeping the spirit of the fast."

There are doubtless hundreds of cultural exceptions in all areas of the world, in all religions and spiritual communities of whatever sort.

 

ShadyGuy's picture
ShadyGuy
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Joined: Jan 2017

I am baffled by what Max and Lindary thought I said. Let me put it clearly. I know of no religious fast that requires 72 hours of no food like the referenced article suggested. The example I gave of Ramadan was not a “qualification”. Food (also drinking anything, even tea or water, smoking etc) is only prohibited between sunrise and sunset during Ramadan. You can eat all you want after sunset with no violation of the Muslim tradition. Hardly 72 hours, more like 12 hours. So they would not be “ free of disease” as Max stated if the theorem were true. And I see no way meatless Fridays could be even considered fasting at all, much less 72 hours, so that is not a good example either. Anyway that was my point.

I am off to the races tomorrow. I have 4 days of infusions this week. Also I am now hairless, at least on my head. Coughing my head off too. Have a great week everyone. I don’t expect to.

Rocquie's picture
Rocquie
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Joined: Mar 2013

Shady Guy, During one of my hospitalizations, I had 9 different diagnoses, one of which was anorexia (but not nervosa). I couldn't eat. Every day a person from the dietary department came to my room to try to coax me and tempt me to order foods I wanted to eat. They said I could order anything I wanted. One morning the rep came in and had another person shadowing her. The next morning I ask if she was training a new person. She said no, that she was being evaluated. One suggestion she got was to wish everyone an excellent day as she left their room. She went on to say how hard that was on "this floor" (the oncology unit). She said that everyone was already on their last leg and wishing them an excellent day would be pointless.  

I quickly told her that even if that day was my last on the planet, I would still want it to be excellent!

For you, I wish you an excellent day everyday this week.

With Hugs,

Rocquie

 

ShadyGuy's picture
ShadyGuy
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I will be leaving for infusion center soon. Doctor will evaluate my cough before he ok’s the infusions this week. I had a chest xray and also a CT scan of my sinuses. Both were normal yet I am coughing so much my stomach muscles hurt. No fever. No known allergies. Not a normal lymphoma symptom. I guess next step, if it doesn’t stop, is a PET to see if there is some hidden lymphoma in my sinuses or lungs. I have never smoked a cigarette, dope or anything else in my entire life. I always lived a disgustingly clean healthy lifestyle. Didn’t help, obviously. Have a great day And thanks again For your kind words.

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
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Shady I don't recall what drugs you are now taking for salvage therapy, but be aware that some chemo agents cause severe respriatory reactions.    I'm pretty sure you are not receiving Bleomycin, but it is among the worst, even causing fibrosis after severe lung toxicity.

Obviously something your oncologist should have already thought of.  But you may want to go through chemocare.com with every drug you are on, looking for possible causal agents (the common and uncommon side-effects for every FDA approved chemo drug are listed there).  It wouldn't take over around ten minutes, time well spent.

I coughed without stopping through chemo and for a few years thereafter.  I was nicknamed there and at work as "that coughing guy."  Mine was dry, hacking; what doctors call "non-productive."  There was never mucus or fluid.

Also know that stomach acids can cause precisely this as well.  Just tossing stuff out at random here, since I've been there/done that.

max

Evarista
Posts: 261
Joined: May 2017

Hi Shady.  I had an extremely violent cough preceding my diagnosis. X-rays and LFT's showed no causation. I was coughing so violently that I could not keep food down.  The chemo actually resolved the cough when nothing else had helped.  Presumably, that was the Prednisone in EPOCH.  Good luck with the comng round.

ShadyGuy's picture
ShadyGuy
Posts: 397
Joined: Jan 2017

except mine got much worse after first round. It has calmed down a lot in the last 2 days. Also doc has prescribed prophylaxis doses of sulfamethoxazole and acyclovir in case its caused by germs. My neutropenia is still there so I have to be very careful about exposures to sick people and tainted foods. No salads for now. Coughing is a known side effect of Fludarabine. Good news is my tiny palpable nodes in my underarms and on my chin are gone. Additional infusions today and tomorrow then 3 weeks off with a scan before the next round. I have great faith in my oncologist.

PBL
Posts: 184
Joined: Jul 2016

Hairless was expected - cough is not. Max is right in suggesting you take a close look at the side effects list for all your medications. It is also possible to have bronchitis without a fever, so - fingers crossed - it's not necessarily lymphoma.

Hang in there, you are not alone. I will be thinking of you as you go through this new round.

Do keep us posted on that cough.

Take care.

PBL

ShadyGuy's picture
ShadyGuy
Posts: 397
Joined: Jan 2017

I now have an anti inflammatory that is helping the cough a lot. Today was Rituxan. I had demerol, benadryl, acetaminophen and Rituxan. Went very well with no ill effects so far. That was my 28th R infusion since I was diagnosed. For the next 3 days I get Kytril, Fludarabine and Cytoxan each day over 3 hours. Those are the bad boys. You guys have gone through so much more than I have. Thanks for not laughing at me!

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
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Joined: May 2012

The anti-inflammatory will hopefully help with cough reduction, since chemo-induced lung toxicity is neither bacterial nor viral, just "inflammatory."   I had inflammation of the prostate on-and-off for 31 years, before having it cut out due to PCa cancer developing. 

Prostatitis, although often attacked by urologists as a UTI, is in fact 95% of the time inflammatory but without viral or bacterial involvement, a fact gleaned from biopsies, post-prostectomy pathology studies, and autopsies.  Lung toxicity is often similiar. 

My point is that doctors tend to soak patients in antibiotics when there is no bacteria present.  I went into inpatient care for three days after my first infusion due to neutropenia.  The whole time they had me on antibiotic IV, and tested me for every infection known to medicine. I kept telling them (although I was on an Oncology Floor) that "It is probably from low WBC."  At the end, they  said, "You have no infections; it was neutropenia."  I had received so much antibiotic that I developed Red Man Syndrom, and looked scaled from the collarbone to my feet.  I recall the old adage given to doctors: "If you listen to the patient long enough, they will tell you what is wrong with them."

Prednisone also, if you are getting it, is a powerful anti-inflamatory.  IF the cause is gastric gases, the inflammatory will help some, but only a PPI (Nexium, etc) is curative in that case.

 

max

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