Omega-3s can kick up the cancer-fighting powers of chemo when taken with chemotherapy drugs, according to a new study. Treatment response and quality of life of patients improved when the fatty acids were added to the chemo cocktail.
Researchers at the University Hospitals of Leicester in the U.K. analyzed 50 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer for the study. Patients received 1,000 mg of the chemo drug gemcitabine weekly followed by up to 100 g of an omega-3-rich lipid emulsion for three weeks followed by a rest week. Subjects underwent up to six cycles of the treatment.
The study found evidence of activity in response and disease stabilization rates, a reduction in liver metastasis, and improved quality of life scores among subjects. The study was published in the OnlineFirst version of the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, the research journal of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. Sciencedaily.com noted the results.
Other research has illuminated the potential cancer-crushing powers of omega-3s. Eating a diet rich the acids may inhibit the growth of cancer tumors by 30 percent, according to research published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. Researchers from the University of Guelph, who conducted that study, believed it was the first to provide unequivocal evidence that omega-3s reduce the risk of cancer.