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Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2018 Jun;25:18-25. doi: 10.1016/j.clnesp.2018.02.006. Epub 2018 Mar 20.

Should omega-3 fatty acids be used for adjuvant treatment of cancer cachexia?

Author information

1
Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal.
2
Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação em Saúde da Universidade Católica Portuguesa e Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal. Electronic address: pedrompneves@gmail.com.
3
Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação em Saúde da Universidade Católica Portuguesa e Universidade de Lisboa, Hospital Universitário de Santa Maria, Portugal.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Cancer cachexia is characterised by a progressive loss of muscle, resulting in functional impairment and shorter survival. Therefore, omega-3 has been studied for its role as an anti-cachectic therapy. This systematic review identified studies published on use of omega-3 in cancer cachexia in order to examine the potential benefit.

METHODS:

A systematic review of the literature using PubMed and B-on databases was conducted to identify clinical trials published between 2000 and 2015, to evaluate the effect of n-3 PUFAs on nutritional features and Quality of Life in cancer cachexia. Of 140 publications, 7 were selected on the basis of their methodological quality, according to the Delphi List. The collected data was summarized and written in text format and in tables.

RESULTS:

Only one study, made in pre-cachectic population, show statistically and clinically positive intervention. No benefits were observed with the 4 g EPA/day, but a potentially clinically relevant treatment effect with 2 g EPA/day. Lung tumours showed the highest CRP levels and while the weight of patients with gastrointestinal cancer increased significantly, patients with lung cancer showed no significant response.

CONCLUSIONS:

Future cachexia trials would likely benefit from studying a single tumour type with earlier stage disease, with probably different dosage depending on the cancer type and its inflammatory profile.

KEYWORDS:

Body composition; Cachexia; Cancer; Muscle mass; Nutrition; Omega-3

PMID:
29779814
DOI:
10.1016/j.clnesp.2018.02.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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