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Supplementation with fish oil increases first-line chemotherapy efficacy in patients with advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer
Article first published online: 15 FEB 2011
Copyright © 2011 American Cancer Society
Volume 117, Issue 16, pages 3774–3780, 15 August 2011
How to Cite
Murphy, R. A., Mourtzakis, M., Chu, Q. S. C., Baracos, V. E., Reiman, T. and Mazurak, V. C. (2011), Supplementation with fish oil increases first-line chemotherapy efficacy in patients with advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer. Cancer, 117: 3774–3780. doi: 10.1002/cncr.25933
We thank the patients and their caregivers for their dedication to the study. Thank you to Lisa Martin, Dr. M. Thomas Clandinin, Kelly-Ann Dribnenki, and Janelle Stott for their assistance in conducting this study. We would also like to thank Ocean Nutrition Canada for donating the study supplement.
- Issue published online: 3 AUG 2011
- Article first published online: 15 FEB 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 21 DEC 2010
- Manuscript Revised: 6 DEC 2010
- Manuscript Received: 18 OCT 2010
- lung cancer;
- n-3 fatty acids;
- response rate
Palliative chemotherapy is aimed at increasing survival and palliating symptoms. However, the response rate to first-line chemotherapy in patients with nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is less than 30%. Experimental studies have shown that supplementation with fish oil (FO) can increase chemotherapy efficacy without negatively affecting nontarget tissue. This study evaluated whether the combination of FO and chemotherapy (carboplatin with vinorelbine or gemcitabine) provided a benefit over standard of care (SOC) on response rate and clinical benefit from chemotherapy in patients with advanced NSCLC.
Forty-six patients completed the study, n = 31 in the SOC group and n = 15 in the FO group (2.5 g EPA + DHA/day). Response to chemotherapy was determined by clinical examination and imaging. Response rate was defined as the sum of complete response plus partial response, and clinical benefit was defined as the sum of complete response, partial response, and stable disease divided by the number of patients. Toxicities were graded by a nurse before each chemotherapy cycle. Survival was calculated 1 year after study enrollment.
Patients in the FO group had an increased response rate and greater clinical benefit compared with the SOC group (60.0% vs 25.8%, P = .008; 80.0% vs 41.9%, P = .02, respectively). The incidence of dose-limiting toxicity did not differ between groups (P = .46). One-year survival tended to be greater in the FO group (60.0% vs 38.7%; P = .15).
Compared with SOC, supplementation with FO results in increased chemotherapy efficacy without affecting the toxicity profile and may contribute to increased survival. Cancer 2011;. © 2011 American Cancer Society.