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Can short-term fasting protect against doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity? World J Biol Chem 2014 Aug 26;5(3):269-74 PMID: 25225594 PMCID: PMC4160520


Doxorubicin (Dox) is one of the most effective chemotherapeutic agents used in the treatment of several types of cancer. However the use is limited by cardiotoxicity. Despite extensive investigation into the mechanisms of toxicity and preventative strategies, Dox-induced cardiotoxicity still remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in cancer survivors. Thus, continued research into preventative strategies is vital. Short-term fasting has proven to be cardioprotective against a variety of insults. Despite the potential, only a few studies have been conducted investigating its ability to prevent Dox-induced cardiotoxicity. However, all show proof-of-principle that short-term fasting is cardioprotective against Dox. Fasting affects a plethora of cellular processes making it difficult to discern the mechanism(s) translating fasting to cardioprotection, but may involve suppression of insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 signaling with stimulated autophagy. It is likely that additional mechanisms also contribute. Importantly, the literature suggests that fasting may enhance the antitumor activity of Dox. Thus, fasting is a regimen that warrants further investigation as a potential strategy to prevent Dox-induced cardiotoxicity. Future research should aim to determine the optimal regimen of fasting, confirmation that this regimen does not interfere with the antitumor properties of Dox, as well as the underlying mechanisms exerting the cardioprotective effects.

Author List

Dirks-Naylor AJ, Kouzi SA, Yang S, Tran NT, Bero JD, Mabolo R, Phan DT, Whitt SD, Taylor HN


Sendra Yang PharmD Assistant Clinical Professor in the School of Pharmacy department at Medical College of Wisconsin

View this publication's entry at the Pubmed website PMID: 25225594
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