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Fish Oil May Improve Chemo Effects In NSCLC

April 22, 2011 by   Leave a Comment

Fish Oil May Improve Effectiveness Of Lung Cancer Chemotherapy

Article by: A. Wilson- 04/11/2011

Fish oil supplementation has been shown to improve the response rate to chemotherapy in the treatment of the most common form of lung cancer according to the results of a study published in the journal Cancer in February.

The study, conducted by Canadian researchers, followed 46 patients who were receiving treatment for non small cell lung cancer. All patients underwent a common chemotherapy regime (carboplatin combined with vinorelbine or gemcitabine). A fish oil supplement containing 2.5g of EPA and DHA was given daily to 15 of the patients while the remaining 31 received the chemotherapy treatment only.

The researchers found that the response rate to chemotherapy was 60% in the fish oil group compared to just 25.8% in the group not receiving fish oil. The one year survival rate for the chemotherapy patients who received the fish oil was 60% compared to just 38.7% for the non fish oil group. In addition, weight loss, which is common in cancer patients and often exacerbated by chemotherapy, did not occur in the fish oil group while the group not taking fish oil lost an average of 2.3 kilograms.

Although this was a relatively small study, animal studies have produced similar results. One study showed a significant reduction in the growth of human breast cancer tumours transplanted into mice when combined with chemotherapy compared to chemotherapy alone. Studies have also shown that fish consumption appears to reduce the risk of developing cancer in the first place. The effect appears to be greatest for cancers of the digestive tract such as the stomach, colon, and esophagus.

Non small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer in the United States making up more than 80% of lung cancer cases. When lung cancer occurs in non-smokers it is almost always this form of lung cancer. Non small cell lung cancer is problematic in that it is relatively resistant to chemotherapy. The response rate to most chemotherapy regimes is typically less than 30%. NSCLC has an overall 5 year survival rate of just 15% however if the cancer is picked up at an early stage then survival rates are much higher.

This was an article posted by webmaster news aggregation from Cancer News web- RSS feed and is not the findings and/or opinion of Atlantic Hematology Oncology Group, local cancer specialists or Dr Sandra Hollander MD. Study is not from South Jersey or local Galloway Township, Atlantic City -County cancer care clinical trial patients. For information go to – Cancer Care Webmaster for AHOG

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