Krill oil as effective as oxaliplatin in colorectal treatment?

Krill oil as effective as oxaliplatin in colorectal treatment?
In four studies, Krill oil has not only been shown to have anti-colorectal cancer properties but now it has been shown to be as effective as the drug oxaliplatin.
First, Krill oil was shown by researchers from Victoria University, Melbourne to have anti-cancer potential in vitro (1)  Then, that it suppressed the proliferation of CRC cells through activation of cascade 3/9 (2). 
It was then shown tat the free fatty acid extract of Krill oil could block the migration of human CRC cells, modulating EGFR signalling and reduced programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1). These last findings could play a role in many cancers (3).
This made the researchers want to find out more about the mechanism of action. So, next, they compared these anti-cancer benefits with those of the common platinum-based drug oxaliplatin, in a mouse model of colorectal cancer.
The results were surprising. In a small study of 36 mice divided into 6 groups where one was a control and fed chow only, others were fed combinations of Krill oil with none, a half or full dose of oxaliplatin (4). The mice were given colorectal cancer three weeks after the start and after a further three weeks tumour numbers, sizes and weight were measured. The expression of cytochrome c, cleaved caspase-9 and -3, DNA damage, PD-L1, PD-L2 and HSP-70 was also recorded.
Not surprisingly, a significant reduction in the numbers, weight and sizes of tumours in the oxaliplatin group was observed over the control group. But these figures were no better than the group on Krill oil alone, or Krill oil with a half dose of oxaliplatin.
Krill oil alone, and Krill oil plus ½ dose of oxaliplatin significantly increased the expression of cytochrome c, cleaved caspase-9 and -3, and DNA damage and decreased expression of PD-L1, PD-L2 and HSP-70 in tumour tissues when compared to the control group.
The researchers concluded that krill oil had great potential in the treatment of colorectal cancer.
According to WebMD, the side-effects of Oxaliplatin can include anaphylaxis within minutes of administion, skin damage, nausea, breathing problems and neuropathy. 
Men with choline-avid prostate cancer are not advised to take krill oil.
  1. Krill oil extract suppresses cell growth and induces apoptosis of human colorectal cancer cells; BMC Complement Altern Med; 2016 Aug 30;16(1):328.
  2. Krill oil extract suppresses the proliferation of colorectal cancer cells through activation of caspase 3/9; Abilasha Gayani Jayathilake, Elif Kadife et al; Metab (Lond); 2019 Aug 17;16:53. 
  3. Krill oil extract inhibits the migration of human colorectal cancer cells and down-regulates EGFR signalling and PD-L1 expression; BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies; Published: 07 December 2020
  4. The comparative anti-cancer effects of krill oil and oxaliplatin in an orthotopic mouse model of colorectal cancer; Abilasha Gayani Jayathilake, Majid Hassanzadeganroudsari, et al; Nutr Metab (Lond). 2022; 19: 12. Published online 2022 Mar 2. 


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