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The Effect of Krill Oil and n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Human Osteosarcoma Cell Proliferation and Migration

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Background: Osteosarcoma (OS) is a neoplastic condition afflicting mostly the young, as the lesion usually occurs in areas of bone growth with tumour cells metastasising to the lungs in advanced disease. There is no real cure for the disease, with conventional drugs causing side-effects that decrease the quality of life of sufferers. Newer and safer drugs are needed, and one avenue is to use natural compounds that can stunt the growth of the tumour.

Objective: In this study, two such biological entities were evaluated: krill oil and fish oil. Human OS cells were exposed to krill oil, fish oil, EPA and DHA in time-course assays lasting up to 72h.

Results: Krill oil inhibited 23, 50 and 64% of cell proliferation at 24, 48 and 72h respectively, while fish oil resulted in no significant changes although an increase was observed at 24h. Interestingly EPA and DHA promoted OS cell proliferation and migration in this neoplasia. The inhibitory effect of krill oil was comparable to 0.5 and 1μM doxorubicin, a commonly used clinical drug for OS treatment.

Conclusion: These results indicate that krill oil may be used in combination with standard clinical practices to control primary tumour growth, and more importantly, metastasis.
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Keywords: Cancer; DHA; EPA; fish oil; krill oil; osteosarcoma

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2018

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  • Current Drug Targets aims to cover the latest and most outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of molecular drug targets e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will be devoted to a single timely topic, with series of in-depth reviews, written by leaders in the field, covering a range of current topics on drug targets. These issues will be organized and led by a guest editor who is a recognized expert in the overall topic. As the discovery, identification, characterisation and validation of novel human drug targets for drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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