In a new study published in the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, researchers from the University Hospitals of Leicester in the United Kingdom found that the combination of the anti-tumor drug gemcitabine and intravenous (IV) omega-3 may help improve the quality of life and treatment response in cancer patients.
The first study uses the combination of a chemotherapeutic agent and IV omega-3 fatty acids in a cancer trial. Other evidence suggests that anti-tumor therapies and omega-3 fatty acids can effectively enhance the quality of life in cancer patients.
In the study, 50 advanced pancreatic cancer patients were given 1,000 milligrams of gemcitabine on a weekly basis. The treatment was followed by omega-3 rich lipid emulsion for a three-week period, then a one week rest period. The treatment continued for up to six cycles. Factors that ended treatment included cancer progression, patient requests to stop the study, unacceptable toxicity, or death.
The researchers discovered that the patients responded to omega-3 IV and anti-tumor drug treatments—in fact, there was a 10% improvement. The group of patients also produced improved disease stabilization rates, improved quality of life scores, and reduction in liver metastasis volume.
Study authors suggest that the results from the current research warrant further randomized controlled experiments. They conclude that a healthy diet that is rich in omega-3 could help prevent the development of cancer. Good sources of omega-3 include freshly grounded flaxseeds, walnuts, and fatty fish like salmon, cod, and trout.
Sources for Today’s Article:
Arshad, A., et al., “Intravenous Omega-3 Fatty Acids Plus Gemcitabine: Potential to Improve Response and Quality of Life in Advanced Pancreatic Cancer,” Journal of Parenteral & Enteral Nutrition, July 2015, doi: 10.1177/0148607115595221; http://pen.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/07/23/0148607115595221.full.
“Omega-3 fatty acids may help improve treatment, quality of life in cancer patients,” ScienceDaily web site, July 28, 2015; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150728091731.htm.
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