Marine v-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid and fish intake after colon cancer diagnosis and survival: CALGB 89803 (Alliance)

Erin L. Van Blarigan*, Charles S. Fuchs, Donna Niedzwiecki, Xing Ye, Sui Zhang, Mingyang Song, Leonard B. Saltz, Robert J. Mayer, Rex B. Mowat, Renaud Whittom, Alexander Hantel, Al Benson, Daniel Atienza, Michael Messino, Hedy Kindler, Alan Venook, Shuji Ogino, Edward L. Giovannucci, Jeffrey A. Meyerhardt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

15 Scopus citations


Background: Marine w-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), primarily found in dark fish, may prevent colorectal cancer progression, in part through inhibition of prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (PTGS2). However, data in humans are limited. Methods: We examined marine w-3 PUFAs and fish intake and survival among 1,011 colon cancer patients enrolled in Cancer and Leukemia Group B 89803 between 1999 and 2001 and followed through 2009. Diet was assessed during and 6 months after chemotherapy. We used Cox proportional hazards regression to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for disease-free (DFS), recurrence-free (RFS), and overall survival (OS). Results: We observed 343 recurrences and 305 deaths (median follow-up: 7 years). Patients in the highest vs. lowest quartile of marine w-3 PUFA intake had an HR for DFS of 0.72 (95% CI, 0.54–0.97; Ptrend ¼ 0.03). Individuals who consumed dark fish 1/week versus never had longer DFS (HR 0.65; 95% CI, 0.48–0.87; P-value ¼ 0.007), RFS (HR 0.61; 95% CI, 0.46–0.86; Ptrend ¼ 0.007), and OS (HR 0.68; 95% CI, 0.48–0.96; Ptrend ¼ 0.04). In a subset of 510 patients, the association between marine w-3 PUFA intake and DFS appeared stronger in patients with high PTGS2 expression (HR 0.32; 95% CI, 0.11–0.95; Ptrend ¼ 0.01) compared with patients with absent/low PTGS2 expression (HR 0.78; 95% CI, 0.48–1.27; Ptrend ¼ 0.35; Pinteraction ¼ 0.19). Conclusions: Patients with high intake of marine w-3 PUFAs and dark fish after colon cancer diagnosis may have longer DFS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)438-445
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology

Cite this

Van Blarigan, E. L., Fuchs, C. S., Niedzwiecki, D., Ye, X., Zhang, S., Song, M., Saltz, L. B., Mayer, R. J., Mowat, R. B., Whittom, R., Hantel, A., Benson, A., Atienza, D., Messino, M., Kindler, H., Venook, A., Ogino, S., Giovannucci, E. L., & Meyerhardt, J. A. (2018). Marine v-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid and fish intake after colon cancer diagnosis and survival: CALGB 89803 (Alliance). Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, 27(4), 438-445.