Cancer is a leading cause of death in the United States and the world. Based on the literature, the side effects of prolonged use of cancer treatment pose a threat to the patient's treatment compliance and efficacy. This study aims to determine the extent to which calorie restriction and fasting can improve the efficacy of cancer treatments, tolerability of cancer treatments, and compliance with cancer treatments through a systematic review. The search for studies involved the use of key terms and extenders based on population, intervention, comparator, outcomes, and study designs (PICOS) framework including participants receiving cancer treatment, dietary interventions, and cancer treatment outcomes. All search results were uploaded to Covidence® software and two independent blinded reviewers screened the studies, and three independent reviewers extracted the data. Studies were first screened based on the title and abstract, and then they were screened based on the full text. If the synthesized data had similar characteristics and there were enough studies available, then the meta-analysis would be performed. While Riedinger et al., Voss et al., and de Groot et al. did not find any significant difference in treatment efficacy between fasting and control groups, the earlier study done by de Groot et al. showed that the effects of fasting can show significant improvement in decreasing the amount of DNA damage in noncancerous cells. Regarding the effects of fasting and calorie restriction on patient tolerability when receiving chemotherapy or radiotherapy, all studies covering the effect demonstrate a trend suggesting that there is no significant difference between the dietary intervention groups and control groups. Overall, there is not enough information from these studies to conclude the effect of fasting on treatment compliance.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Lee, Eunkyung


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Health Professions and Sciences


Health Sciences

Degree Program

Health Sciences, Pre-Clinical Track



Access Status

Campus Access

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Release Date