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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2012, Article ID 254801, 9 pages
Clinical Study

Fatty Acids in Habitual Diet, Plasma Phospholipids, and Tumour and Normal Colonic Biopsies in Young Colorectal Cancer Patients

1Research Centre, Akershus University Hospital, P.O. Box 95, 1478 Lørenskog, Norway
2Cancer Registry of Norway, P.O. Box 5313, Majorstuen, 0304 Oslo, Norway
3Section of Gastroenterology, Department of Organ Transplantation, Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet, 0027 Oslo, Norway
4Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Ahus Campus, 1474 Nordbyhagen, Norway
5Department of Health, Nutrition, and Management, Faculty of Health Sciences, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, P.O. Box 4, St. Olavs Plass, 0130 Oslo, Norway
6Institute of Chemistry, Biotechnology, and Food Science, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, 1432 Aas, Norway

Received 12 September 2012; Accepted 27 November 2012

Academic Editor: Anne-Kathrin Illner

Copyright © 2012 Paula Berstad et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Fatty acid metabolism is altered in colorectal cancer (CRC). We aimed to investigate incorporation of dietary -6 and -3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) into plasma phospholipids (PLs), tumour tissue, and normal mucosa in young CRC patients. We also aimed to study differences in PUFA composition between tumour and normal mucosa, and PUFA status associated with cancer stage. Sixty-five CRC patients younger than 55 years were included in a multicenter study. We assessed dietary fatty acid composition by food-frequency questionnaire. Fatty acid composition in plasma PL ( ) and tumour and normal colonic biopsies ( ) were analysed by gas chromatography. We observed a significant correlation for docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) between dietary intake and concentration in plasma PL (weight%) ( ; ), but not for any -6 PUFA. Tissue concentrations of arachidonic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, and DHA (weight%) were 1.7–2.5 times higher in tumour than normal mucosa ( ). Concentrations of -3 and -6 PUFA in plasma PL and tissues were not related to Duke's stage, although patients with more severe cancer stage reported higher intake of -3 PUFA. In conclusion, we found accumulation of the long-chained -3 and -6 PUFA in tumour tissue in young CRC patients.