Starving the body of food for a couple of days could help in the fight against cancer, according to new research.
Scientists have discovered that a 48-hour fast seems to protect the body's healthy cells against the toxic effects of chemotherapy drugs. The breakthrough could provide a solution to a problem that has confounded cancer experts for years - how to target chemotherapy so it destroys cancer cells but leaves healthy ones intact.
It seems depriving healthy cells of the food they need for fuel sends them into a kind of survival mode, where they become highly resistant to stress or damage. Experts describe this behaviour as similar to animals waiting out winter food shortages by hibernating.
But cancer cells do not react in the same way. Instead, they carry on growing and remain just as susceptible to the effects of chemotherapy as they do when the body has a full supply of food.
The result could be that doctors can cure more cancers by using higher doses of chemotherapy drugs to shrink or destroy tumours.
Source - Daily Mail