Protecting Against Skin Cancer Promotion: A Clinical Study to Assess theEffect of Omega 3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on Photoimmunosuppression

  • Khaled Roshdy

    Student thesis: Doctor of Medicine


    ABSTRACTThe University of ManchesterKhaled A.A.R.A. Roshdy MD Thesis January 2012Protecting Against Skin Cancer Promotion: A Clinical Study to Assess the Effect of Omega 3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on Photoimmunosuppression Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is a complete carcinogen, inducing skin cancer via DNA photodamage that can lead to mutagenesis, and promoting it's growth via photoimmunosuppression (PI). The omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) eicosapentaenoic acid was shown in murine studies to protect against PI and UV-induced skin cancer although the mechanism is uncertain. The principal objectives of this thesis were to (i) examine whether n-3 PUFA can protect against a clinical model of PI in healthy humans and (ii) explore whether the underlying mechanism could be abrogation of UV-induced depletion of antigen-presenting Langerhans cells (LC) from the epidermis, and/or impact on immunomodulatory cytokines. Nickel (Ni) allergic females (n=79) were randomized to 3 months of daily supplementation with 5g n-3 PUFA (70% eicosapentaenoic acid, EPA; 10% docosahexaenoic acid, DHA) or the placebo medium chain triglyceride, GTCC. Local PI was clinically assessed post supplementation using the nickel contact hypersensitivity (Ni CHS) model. In each volunteer, Ni patches were applied to 3 skin sites that were irradiated for 3 consecutive days with UV-doses of 1.89, 3.82 & 7.59J/cm2 respectively. CHS responses were measured and compared to responses of control patches applied on unirradiated skin using a reflectance erythema meter. In the same subjects, assessments of cellular and biochemical mediators of PI were made pre and post supplementation. At 24hr post irradiation with an erythemal UV-dose (4 minimal erythemal doses) to upper buttock skin, half the subjects (n=39) had skin punch biopsies taken and the other half (n=40) had suction blisters raised on this irradiated skin and on unirradiated skin of the contralateral buttock. Epidermal sheets were prepared from the punch biopsies and immunohistochemically stained to assess UV-induced LC numbers. Levels of immunomodulatory cytokines were analysed in the suction blister fluid using Luminex multiplex assay kits. To evaluate compliance and bioavailability, blood samples were taken from all volunteers, pre and post supplementation and EPA% weight in red blood cell membranes was examined using gas chromatography.Post supplementation, EPA %wt was significantly higher in the active group compared to control: mean 3.61% ± 0.22% (SEM) vs. 0.93% ± 0.06% (p
    Date of Award1 Aug 2012
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • The University of Manchester
    SupervisorLesley Rhodes (Supervisor) & Neil Gibbs (Supervisor)


    • Promotion of Skin Cancer
    • Photoimmunosuppression
    • Omega 3 Fatty Acids

    Cite this