Transplant Trial Watch

Omega-3 fatty acid supplement skin cancer prophylaxis in lung transplant recipients: A randomized, controlled pilot trial.

Miura, K., Vail, A. et al. (2019).

Journal of Heart & Lung Transplantation38(1).

To assess the feasibility and acceptability, and safety of daily supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids (FA) to prevent skin cancers in lung transplant recipients.

Participants were randomly allocated to daily supplements containing either 4g omega-3 FA (3.36g eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) + docosahexaenoic acid) or placebo (4g olive oil) for 12 months.

49 lung transplant recipients randomised into two groups (n=25 omega-3 FA intervention) (n=24 placebo group).

Primary outcomes were assessed as rates of recruitment, retention, adherence (assessed by plasma omega-3 FA) and safety. Secondary outcomes were assessed as the incidence of skin cancers.

12 months

CET Conclusions
This pilot, double-blind randomised controlled trial investigated the feasibility, acceptability and safety of daily omega-3 fish oil to prevent skin cancers in adult lung transplant recipients who were at least 1 year post-transplant. Patients were randomised based on a computer-generated randomisation sequence to either omega-3 fish oil or placebo capsules that looked identical and were stored in identical containers. No sample size calculation was conducted and 49 patients were included. Six patients withdrew from the study and 86% completed the follow up. Groups were similar at baseline although there were more patients with skin prone to sunburn in the placebo group (71% versus 40%) and less patients in the placebo group that never applied sunscreen to the head/neck area (8% versus 32%). The study showed that the supplementation is feasible and safe. A sufficiently powered study will need to be conducted to evaluate the efficacy of omega-3 fish oil in reducing skin cancers.

Jadad score

Data analysis
Available case analysis

Allocation concealment

Trial registration
ANZ Clinical Trial Registry - 12614000873628

Funding source
Industry & non-industry funded