Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), a multifunctional cytokine, is involved in apoptosis, cell proliferation, cell survival, and inflammation. It plays a dual role in cancer development and progression. It has been revealed that polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) modulate the production and activity of TNF family cytokines. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effect of PUFAs on messenger RNA expression levels of TNF-α in patients with gastric adenocarcinoma.
Thirty-four chemotherapy-naive patients diagnosed with gastric adenocarcinoma were randomly divided into two groups. The first group (17 individuals) received cisplatin without supplements and the second group (17 individuals) received cisplatin plus orally administered PUFA supplements for 3 weeks, based on treatment strategies. The gastric biopsy samples were obtained from all participants before and after treatment, and TNF-α mRNA expression levels were evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR procedure.
Our findings revealed that TNF-α mRNA expression is downregulated in group II, after receiving cisplatin and omega fatty acid supplement for 3 weeks. However, this difference is not statistically significant (p > 0.05). TNF-α mRNA expression did not show significant alteration in group I, after receiving cisplatin alone.
Taken together, we concluded that omega fatty acids reduce TNF-α expression at the mRNA level in patients with gastric adenocarcinoma. These data suggest that TNF-α may act as a potential target for the therapy of human gastric adenocarcinoma.