In Vivo. 2004 Sep-Oct;18(5):543-7.
Effect of n-3 fatty acids on the antitumour effects of cytotoxic drugs.
Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Institute, Aston University, Birmingham, B4 7ET, UK.
BACKGROUND: n-3 fatty acids are increasingly being administered to cancer patients for the treatment of cachexia, and it is thus important to know of any potential interactions with ongoing cytotoxic drug therapy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: For this reason eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) were administered to mice bearing the cachexia-inducing MAC16 colon adenocarcinoma, and the effect of epothilone, gemcitabine, 5-fluorouracil and cyclophosphamide on tumour growth and body weight determined.
RESULTS: Epothilone alone had a minimal effect on tumour growth rate, but this was potentiated by DH4, while for 5-fluorouracil and cyclophosphamide tumour growth inhibition was enhanced by EPA. The antitumour effect of gemcitabine was not altered by either fatty acid. EPA arrested the development of cachexia, while DHA had no effect and the same was true for their effect on tumour growth rate. The anticachectic effect of EPA was only seen in combination with 5-fluorouracil.
CONCLUSION: These results suggest that n-3 fatty acids do not interfere with the action of chemotherapy and may potentiate the effect of certain agents.
PMID: 15523890 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]