Clinical Trial of Calorie Restriction in Breast Cancer Treatment

Breast Cancer 5 women support 584x342Jefferson radiation oncologist Nicole Simone, MD, has been studying the potential benefits on outcomes of cancer patients consuming fewer calories during treatment for cancer – specifically the impact on radiation therapy.

Currently, Dr. Simone is recruiting patients for a pilot clinical trial on caloric restriction during radiation treatment of breast cancer called Caloric Restriction For Oncology Research in Early Stage Breast Cancer (CaReFOR).

“We know that most women undergoing treatment for breast cancer gain weight and we also know that a reduction in overall calories may increase the efficacy of radiation,” says Dr. Simone. “Therefore, we are asking our breast cancer patients to adhere to a caloric reduction program for 10 weeks during their radiation therapy.”

The trial, however, goes beyond asking participants to diet during treatment and arms them with tools to successfully reduce their caloric intake.

An interdisciplinary team, including specialists at the Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine, will provide dietary counseling, food journals and support to help the women participating in the trial.

“Since cancer treatment is already a challenging time for women, we are thrilled to be able to provide them with additional aids,” says Dr. Simone.

That additional help was made possible by the generous support of Jefferson’s Women’s Board to ensure the participants “have the tools to make it as easy as possible.”

Eligibility for the Trial

Women 18 years of age or older who have been diagnosed with early stage breast cancer and will undergo radiation therapy for treatment may be eligible to participate. If you are interested in learning more about participating in this study, please contact our team at

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