A Pilot Study of Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) in Patients With Cancer Cachexia
People who have cancer can get what is called cancer cachexia (CC). The symptoms of CC
include getting full quickly when eating (early satiety), loss of appetite, weakness
resulting in weight loss and loss of lean body mass. Even a weight loss of 5% in cancer
patients reflects poor health, hospitalization, and a higher rate of illness. Research shows
that the elderly are at higher risk for deficiency of vitamins and trace minerals. Other
pre-existing chronic diseases and drug therapies in this population may increase the needs
of certain nutrients. Recent studies have also shown that advanced malnutrition is much more
difficult to treat in the elderly than in younger adults, and the consequences of failure to
treat it delays recovery and can decrease function and quality of life. At this time, the
ways to treat CC include giving medications to increase appetite and giving nutritional
supplements that are high in calories and protein.
Recent studies have shown that certain types of fats that are present in fish, walnuts and
other foods that we eat called Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) may help with weight gain,
especially gain in muscle and improve quality of life in patients with pancreatic cancer.
However, EPA has never been studied in prevention of cancer cachexia in cancer patients
showing early signs of weight loss. Based on these early, small studies, it is clear that we
need to study if and how EPA can prevent loss of muscle and weight in cancer patients and
prevent this from becoming worse.
Allocation: Non-Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment
Change in Serum Albumin
Change in protein status at 6 weeks after initial diagnosis of weight loss of >5% body weight as indicated by morphological, biochemical and immunological intermediate biomarkers.
6 weeks per patient
Nagi Kumar, Ph.D.
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute
United States: Food and Drug Administration
|H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute||Tampa, Florida 33612|
|Martin Memorial||Stuart, Florida 34994|