Fish oil may be a not-so-secret weapon against cancer, according to new research that shows adding omega-3 fatty acids to anti-tumor medications may boost the effectiveness of some treatments.
The findings, by researchers at the University Hospitals of Leicester in the United Kingdom, also found pancreatic cancer patients who took omega-3s along with chemotherapy reported improved quality of life.
The study, published online in the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, involved 50 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, which is difficult to treat.
Patients were given 1,000 milligrams of the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine weekly followed by up to 100 grams of omega-3 rich lipid emulsion for three weeks. The regimen was continued for up to six cycles.
The study found increased response to chemo and “stabilization” of the cancer, as well as a reduction in liver metastasis and improved quality of life scores for patients.
The researchers said the results are encouraging enough to warrant further investigation in a randomized phase III clinical trial, which could lead to wider use of the combo therapy.
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