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Nutr Cancer. 2012;64(7):946-55. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2012.716138.

Plasma fatty acid composition in patients with pancreatic cancer: correlations to clinical parameters.

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4th Department of Internal Medicine, 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and General University Hospital in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic.


Pancreatic cancer (PC) ranks as the fourth cause of cancer-related deaths in the Czech Republic. Evidence exists that deregulation of fatty acid (FA) metabolism is connected with some malignancies; therefore, we decided to analyze FA profile in plasma lipid classes in patients with PC with relation to tumor staging, nutritional status, and survival. The study included 84 patients (47 males, 37 females) with PC and 68 controls (36 males, 32 females). FA patterns were analyzed in plasma lipid classes by gas-chromatography. We observed increased proportion of total monounsaturated FA (MUFA) in PC group in all plasma lipid classes. These changes were connected with increased Δ9-desaturase (SCD1) and Δ5-desaturase indices. Correlations of dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (DHGLA) with these variables were opposite. Longer survival of patients was connected with higher content of EPA, DHA, and with lower SCD1 index, respectively. Plasma phospholipid proportions of α-linolenic acid, DHGLA, EPA, and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids displayed negative trend with tumor staging. Plasma lipid FA pattern in PC patients resulted from decreased dietary fat intake and increased de novo synthesis of FA with transformation into MUFA. Changes in FA profile implicated some pathophysiological mechanisms responsible for disturbed FA metabolism in PC and importance of appropriate nutritional support.

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