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Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Their Role in Pediatric Cancer

Department of Pediatrics I, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Medical University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Carlo Agostoni
Nutrients 2021, 13(6), 1800;
Received: 28 April 2021 / Revised: 14 May 2021 / Accepted: 19 May 2021 / Published: 26 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Pediatric Nutrition)
Background: Malnutrition is common in children with cancer and is associated with adverse clinical outcomes. The need for supportive care is becoming ever more evident and the role of nutrition in oncology is still not sufficiently understood. In particular, the consequences of macro- and micronutrient deficiencies require further research. As epidemiological data suggest anti-tumoral properties of omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), we reviewed the role of nutrition and n-3 supplementation in pediatric oncology. Methods: A comprehensive literature search was conducted on PubMed through 5 February 2021 to select meta-analyses, systematic reviews, observational studies, and individual randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on macro- and micronutrient supplementation in pediatric oncology. The search strategy included the following medical subject headings (MeSH) and keywords: “childhood cancer”, “pediatric oncology”, “nutritional status”, “malnutrition”, and “omega-3-fatty-acids”. The reference lists of all relevant articles were screened to include potentially pertinent studies. Results: We summarize evidence about the importance of adequate nutrition in childhood cancer and the role of n-3 PUFAs and critically interpret findings. Possible effects of supplementation on the nutritional status and benefits during chemotherapy are discussed as well as strategies for primary and secondary prevention. Conclusion: We here describe the obvious benefits of omega-3 supplementation in childhood cancer. Further large scale clinical trials are required to verify potential anti-cancer effects of n-3 fatty acids. View Full-Text
Keywords: children; nutrition; omega-3 fatty acids; oncology; prevention; supplementation children; nutrition; omega-3 fatty acids; oncology; prevention; supplementation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Podpeskar, A.; Crazzolara, R.; Kropshofer, G.; Hetzer, B.; Meister, B.; Müller, T.; Salvador, C. Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Their Role in Pediatric Cancer. Nutrients 2021, 13, 1800.

AMA Style

Podpeskar A, Crazzolara R, Kropshofer G, Hetzer B, Meister B, Müller T, Salvador C. Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Their Role in Pediatric Cancer. Nutrients. 2021; 13(6):1800.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Podpeskar, Alexandra, Roman Crazzolara, Gabriele Kropshofer, Benjamin Hetzer, Bernhard Meister, Thomas Müller, and Christina Salvador. 2021. "Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Their Role in Pediatric Cancer" Nutrients 13, no. 6: 1800.

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