Last year in the UK over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials aimed at improving cancer treatments and making them available to all.
A trial looking at gemcitabine with omega 3 fish oil to treat pancreatic cancer
This trial looked at using omega 3 fish oil alongside gemcitabine to treat pancreatic cancer. It was for people with pancreatic cancer that had grown into the surrounding tissues (was locally advanced) or it had spread to other parts of the body.
More about this trial
Doctors can use chemotherapy to treat advanced pancreatic cancer. One chemotherapy drug they use is gemcitabine. Doctors have given gemcitabine with other chemotherapy drugs to try and improve treatment, but with little success.
We know from
The aims of the trial were to
- Find out if having omega 3 fish oil alongside gemcitabine can help people with advanced pancreatic cancer
- Find out how it affected
quality of life Learn more about the side effects
Summary of results
The trial team found that having fish oil alongside gemcitabine improved quality of life and helped some people in this small trial.
50 people took part. Everybody had gemcitabine and omega 3 fish oil.
The researchers looked at how well treatment worked. They had the results for 35 people. They found that
- The cancer went away a little bit in 5 people. Researchers call this a
- The cancer stayed the same in 25 people. Researchers call this
- The cancer got worse in 5 people
The researchers also looked at quality of life. They looked at 36 patients who had completed at least 4 treatments. More than half reported an improved quality of life compared with the beginning of the trial. They also reported improved pain levels.
The main side effects of treatment were
- A drop in blood cells causing an increased risk of infection, bleeding problems, tiredness and breathlessness
- Feeling or being sick
The trial team found that having omega 3 fish oil alongside gemcitabine helped some people and improved quality of life. They suggest that this treatment is looked at in more detail in a larger trial in the future.
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.
Dr Ashley Dennison
B. Braun Medical Ltd
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust