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Marine ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake and survival after colorectal cancer diagnosis
  1. Mingyang Song1,2,3,
  2. Xuehong Zhang4,
  3. Jeffrey A Meyerhardt5,
  4. Edward L Giovannucci3,4,6,
  5. Shuji Ogino5,6,7,
  6. Charles S Fuchs4,5,
  7. Andrew T Chan1,2,4,8
  1. 1Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2Division of Gastroenterology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  3. 3Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  4. 4Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  5. 5Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  6. 6Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  7. 7Division of MPE Molecular Pathological Epidemiology, Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  8. 8Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Andrew T Chan, Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, GRJ-825C, Boston MA 02114, USA; achan{at}partners.org

Abstract

Objective Experimental evidence supports an antineoplastic activity of marine ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFAs; including eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid and docosapentaenoic acid). However, the influence of ω-3 PUFAs on colorectal cancer (CRC) survival is unknown.

Design Within the Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study, we prospectively studied CRC-specific and overall mortality in a cohort of 1659 patients with CRC according to intake of marine ω-3 PUFAs and its change after diagnosis.

Results Higher intake of marine ω-3 PUFAs after CRC diagnosis was associated with lower risk of CRC-specific mortality (p for trend=0.03). Compared with patients who consumed <0.10 g/day of marine ω-3 PUFAs, those consuming at least 0.30 g/day had an adjusted HR for CRC-specific mortality of 0.59 (95% CI 0.35 to 1.01). Patients who increased their marine ω-3 PUFA intake by at least 0.15 g/day after diagnosis had an HR of 0.30 (95% CI 0.14 to 0.64, p for trend <0.001) for CRC deaths, compared with those who did not change or changed their intake by <0.02 g/day. No association was found between postdiagnostic marine ω-3 PUFA intake and all-cause mortality (p for trend=0.47).

Conclusions High marine ω-3 PUFA intake after CRC diagnosis is associated with lower risk of CRC-specific mortality. Increasing consumption of marine ω-3 PUFAs after diagnosis may confer additional benefits to patients with CRC.

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