Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fish oil reduces effectiveness of chemotherapy

Date:
September 12, 2011
Source:
University Medical Center Utrecht
Summary:
The body produces a substance that renders cancer cells insensitive to treatment with widely used chemotherapies. The same substance is also contained in fish oil capsules that are taken by many cancer patients. The Dutch researchers who discovered the substance advise patients undergoing chemotherapy against the use of fish oil and similar products.

Researchers at University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands, have discovered a substance that has an adverse effect on nearly all types of chemotherapy -- making cancer cells insensitive to the treatment. Chemotherapy often loses effectiveness over time. It is often unclear how or why this happens.

It now appears that chemotherapy is made ineffective by two types of fatty acid that are made by stem cells in the blood. Under the influence of cisplatin chemotherapy, the stem cells secrete these fatty acids that induce resistance to a broad spectrum of chemotherapies. These substances are referred to by researchers as 'PIFAs' which stands for platinum-induced fatty acids. Cisplatin is a type of chemotherapy that is widely used for the treatment of cancer, including cancer of the lungs and ovaries.

Tumors under the skin

The researchers studied the effect of PIFA's in mice and human cells. The mice studied had tumors under the skin. Under normal conditions, the tumors would decrease in size following the administration of chemotherapy. In the study, after administering the fatty acids to the mice, the tumors were found to be insensitive to chemotherapy. The fatty acids were isolated from the medium in which chemotherapy exposed stem cells were grown. But also stem cells in the blood of patients produce the fatty acids that desensitize tumors to chemotherapy.

The fatty acids are also found in commercially-produced fish oil supplements containing omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well as in some algae extracts. In the experiments conducted in mice, the tumors became insensitive to chemotherapy after administration of normal amounts of fish oil. Natural products that include fish oil are frequently used by cancer patients in addition to their regular treatment.

"Don't use these products"

Professor Emile Voest, a medical oncologist at UMC Utrecht, supervised the research. "Where resistance to chemotherapy is concerned, we usually believe that changes in the cancer cells themselves have occurred. Now we show that the body itself secretes protective substances into the blood that are powerful enough to block the effect of chemotherapy. These substances can be found in some types of fish oil. Whilst waiting for the results of further research, we currently recommend that these products should not be used whilst people are undergoing chemotherapy."

Researchers at the University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands, describe these findings, that will appear online on September 12, in the journal Cancer Cell.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Medical Center Utrecht. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. JeanineM.L. Roodhart, LauraG.M. Daenen, EdwinC.A. Stigter, Henk-Jan Prins, Johan Gerrits, JuliaM. Houthuijzen, MarijeG. Gerritsen, HenkS. Schipper, MariekeJ.G. Backer, Miranda vanAmersfoort, JoostS.P. Vermaat, Petra Moerer, Kenji Ishihara, Eric Kalkhoven, JosH. Beijnen, PatrickW.B. Derksen, ReneH. Medema, AntonC. Martens, ArjanB. Brenkman, EmileE. Voest. Mesenchymal Stem Cells Induce Resistance to Chemotherapy through the Release of Platinum-Induced Fatty Acids. Cancer Cell, 2011; 20 (3): 370 DOI: 10.1016/j.ccr.2011.08.010

Cite This Page:

University Medical Center Utrecht. "Fish oil reduces effectiveness of chemotherapy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110912143257.htm>.
University Medical Center Utrecht. (2011, September 12). Fish oil reduces effectiveness of chemotherapy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110912143257.htm
University Medical Center Utrecht. "Fish oil reduces effectiveness of chemotherapy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110912143257.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) A 111-year-old Japanese was certified as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Wednesday. Sakari Momoi, a native of Fukushima in northern Japan, was given a certificate at a hospital in Tokyo. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Herman Goldman has worked at the same lighting store for almost 75 years. Find out his secrets to a happy, productive life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins