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AAFA™ Fish Oil Nutritional Supplementation to Maintain Body Weight in Patients With Disease-Related Weight Loss

Phase 2
18 Years
90 Years
Not Enrolling
Cancer, Cancer Cachexia, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Heart Failure, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Thank you

Trial Information

AAFA™ Fish Oil Nutritional Supplementation to Maintain Body Weight in Patients With Disease-Related Weight Loss

The overall goal of this project is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of nutritional
supplementation with fish oils to maintain weight in patients with disease-related weight
loss (cachexia). Weight loss commonly results in a poorer prognosis, functional status, and
quality of life. Despite the high morbidity and mortality associated with cachexia,
mainstream treatment does not sustain weight and although nutritional supplements are
commonly used, many of these have not been tested in clinical trials. Recent work in
cachexia has revealed that this is mediated by pro-inflammatory cytokines. There are data
that suggests that fish oils can affect the underlying pathogenic inflammatory response and
have an affect on weight maintenance and nutritional balance

Diseases in which cachexia is most common:

- Cancer

- Chronic Heart Failure (CHF)

- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Goals of the Study:

- To evaluate the safety and efficacy of fish oils vs. corn oil in the maintenance of
weight and lean body mass in patients with disease-related weight loss.

- To understand the mechanism of fish oil effect on health maintenance by evaluating the
anti-inflammatory, anti-catabolic, anti-oxidant and anabolic actions of these compounds

- To document the effect of our interventions on quality of life and functional status.

Study Outline:

Participants will be randomly assigned to receive either fish oil supplements or corn oil
for the duration of this 3-month study. Participants will have five study visits and two
telephone interviews. During each study visit, participants will undergo laboratory tests, a
physical exam, and a dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) bone scan. Participants will be
asked to keep a food diary during the study. During the telephone interviews, participants
will be asked health-related questions and discuss their current functional status.

Inclusion Criteria:

- Men and Women with disease-related weight loss e.g. cardiac cachexia, COPD, CHF, RA.

- All stages of Pancreatic cancer patients (No weight loss requirements)

- All stages of cancer with 5% weight loss

- At least 6 weeks post-surgery

- On a stable dose of medications for at least 6 weeks prior to study entry

- Most recent ECOG Performance status score of 0,1,2,or 3 if applicable

- Agree to use acceptable methods of contraception during the study and for 3 months
after study completion, for female participants. Females with reproductive potential
must have a negative urine or serum pregnancy test within 7 days of study.

- Willing to continue current therapy for cancer for the duration of the study

- If with diabetes mellitus HgbA1C of <10%

- Adequate bone marrow function ANC> 1000/mm3, platelets 50,000/mm3, hemoglobin, 8g/dl.

- No active infections including known history of HIV or viral hepatitis.

Exclusion Criteria:

- Esophageal Cancer

- Individuals with hypertriglyceridemia

- Life expectancy of less than 12 weeks

- Alcohol consumption more than 3 drinks/day for men or 2 drinks/day for women.

- Untreated endocrine problems

- Severe Depression

- Untreated endocrine problems, such as hypothyroidism. Gonadal dysfunction from a
known primary endocrine dysfunction (e.g. Klinefelters syndrome, pituitary tumor,
testicular neoplasms, testicular surgery.

- Medications that impair sex hormone synthesis, secretion, or function (e.g.
spironolactone, anti-estrogens, anabolic steroids and androgens.

- Fish oils within 3 months prior to study entry.

- Any infectious disease, such as HIV or viral hepatitis.

- Vitamins in doses greater than the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)

- Herbs in the month prior to study entry.

- Only participation in other cachexia studies is prohibited.

- Prothrombin Time INR > 2.5 on Coumadin and INR > 2.0 not on Coumadin.

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double-Blind, Primary Purpose: Treatment

Outcome Measure:

Body weight

Principal Investigator

Adrian S. Dobs, MD, MHS

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

Johns Hopkins University


United States: Federal Government

Study ID:

P50 AT000437



Start Date:

June 2004

Completion Date:

September 2007

Related Keywords:

  • Cancer
  • Cancer Cachexia
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Chronic Heart Failure
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Cancer Cachexia
  • Weight Loss
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Chronic Heart Failure
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Arthritis
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid
  • Body Weight
  • Cachexia
  • Heart Failure
  • Lung Diseases
  • Respiration Disorders
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive
  • Weight Loss
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive



Johns Hopkins Hospital Baltimore, Maryland  21287