Effects of EPA on Prostate Cancer Cells Proliferation and Quality of Life
Prostate cancer, the most frequently diagnosed cancer among occidental men, is associated
with a major individual and societal burden. Although still controversial, the literature
suggests that a high consumption of omega-3 fatty acids (ω3) has protective effects against
prostate cancer. One of the proposed mechanisms of action of ω3 lies in their
anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, there are some observational evidences suggesting
an association of ω3 intake with a lower rate of depression in cancer patients. However, no
clinical study has tested the efficacy of ω3 supplementation on psychological and quality of
life outcomes in that population. Several evidences point to a possible involvement of
inflammation in psychological issues. Reducing the systemic inflammatory state may have
beneficial impact on the quality of life of these patients. Preliminary work from this team
of investigators, in a cohort of patients managed with active surveillance for their
low-grade prostate cancer, show a strong inverse association between the risk of prostate
cancer progression (to high-grade) and the level of prostatic eicosapentanoic acid (EPA- a
type of ω3).
HYPOTHESIS: EPA-rich monoglycerides fish oil (MAG-EPA) has global positive effects on
prostate cancer cell proliferation, inflammation and on the patient's psychosocial
functioning and quality of life.
The investigators propose a double blind, randomized controlled clinical trial. 130
consecutive patients suffering from high-risk prostate cancer who choose to be treated by
radical prostatectomy will be eligible to this study. The presence of high-grade cancer will
The intervention, a daily supplementation with 3g supplement of fish oil monoglycerides rich
in EPA, vs. placebo capsules containing high oleic sunflower oil, will start six weeks
before the prostatectomy and will continue for one year after surgery. The potential
confounding variables will be measured before the start of the intervention: age,
anthropometric parameters, stage and clinical and pathological tumour grade (Gleason score),
pre-operative level of prostate specific antigen and diet.
This project proposes a simple intervention by dietary supplementation that could eventually
help to reduce the incidence and/or progression of prostate cancer, and the consequences of
its treatment, and thus could contribute to diminish the heavy individual and societal
burden of prostate cancer. The clinical data generated by this trial will serve as solid
basis for a large-scale phase III clinical trial.
View this trial on ClinicalTrials.gov
Print this page and take it to your doctor to discuss your eligibilty and treatment options. Only your doctor can refer you to a clinical trial.
These resources are provided in partnership with the
Canadian Cancer Society