Oslo Cancer Cluster member Smartfish recently presented that juices containing omega-3, whey proteins and natural antioxidants have beneficial effects on body weight, muscle weight and tumour size in a mouse model for cancer cachexia with or without concomitant chemotherapy.
Smartfish AS is developing a Food for Special Medical Purpose (FSMP) product called Nutrifriend Cachexia (NFCax) aiming to reduce and counteract the damaging and the often deadly outcome of cachexia (a disease related wasting syndrome characterized by muscle loss, asthenia and fatigue). The Smartfish products contain omega-3 in a juice blend with vitamins and proteins. No nutrition product to date has succeeded in demonstrating improved outcomes in this disease.
In a Lewis lung model study conducted by Prof. J. Argiles, at the University of Barcelona, Spain, tumour bearing mice were treated for 18 days with either an isocaloric placebo, a Smartfish juice dose corresponding to a human dose of 4 grams of EPA/DHA (omega-3) per day (NFCax) or a Smartfish juice corresponding to a human dose of 3 grams EPA/DHA per day fortified with curcumin (NFCur) with or without chemotherapy (sorefanib).
The results show a clear statistically significant increase in tibialis muscle when the animals were treated with either NFCax or NFCur. In chemotherapy treated mice, juice treatment, both NFCax and NFCur, resulted in a marked tendency to increase in grip force, which is an important measure of function in patients.
Both juices, significantly reduced primary tumour growth. In spite of the tumour reduction, the chemotherapy treatment did not result in changes in body weight. In combination with sorafenib, NFCax had and important effect on reducing body weight loss. NFCur treatment also had an effect without chemotherapy
In conclusion, treatment with Smartfish juices seems to have beneficial effects on muscle wasting and could be part of a therapy for cancer cachexia