Send to

Choose Destination
Br J Cancer. 2003 Sep 15;89(6):1102-7.

n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids decrease mucosal/epidermal reactions and enhance antitumour effect of ionising radiation with inhibition of tumour angiogenesis.

Author information

Laboratoire UPRES EA No. 27-10 Radiosensibilité des tumeurs et tissus sains, Institut Gustave-Roussy, 39, rue Camille Desmoulins, 94805 Villejuif Cédex, France.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) on normal tissue (lip mucosa) and tumour growth when combined with ionising radiation. The oral region (snout) of C57 black mice was irradiated with 16.5 Gy and n-3 PUFAs (100 microl) were injected intravenously for 2 weeks. After exposure to irradiation, the degree and duration of the acute reactions decreased significantly when mice were treated with n-3 PUFAs as compared to the control group. Interestingly, the range of the reactions in the n-3 PUFAs-treated group compared favourably to the group receiving amifostine (27.5 mg/kg i.v.). the effect of n-3 PUFAs was further evaluated in HEP-2 human carcinoma xenograft transplanted in nude mice. An inhibition of tumour growth was observed when mice were treated with n-3 PUFAs alone and this effect was maximal when combined with irradiation. Similar results were obtained using eicosapentaenoic acid. The effect of n-3 PUFAs was associated with inhibition of angiogenesis and tumour proliferation, and significantly decreased expression of cyclooxygenase-2. In conclusion, n-3 PUFAs administration decrease mucosal response, while moderately enhancing the antitumour effect of irradiation. The magnitude of the differential effect suggests that n-3 PUFAs need to be further investigated in the clinic.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center