US Pharm. 2012;37(1):10.

University Park, PA—A compound derived from fish oil appears to target leukemia stem cells and could lead to a cure for the disease. The compound, delta-12-prostaglandin J3 (D12-PGJ3), is produced from eicosapentaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish and fish oil. According to Pennsylvania State University researcher Sandeep Prabhu, D12-PGJ3 targeted and killed stem cells of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) in the spleens and bone marrow of mice, and “the mice were completely cured of leukemia with no relapse.” Specifically, D12-PGJ3 activates a gene (p53) in the leukemia stem cell that programs the cell’s own death. Killing the stem cells is important in leukemia because the cells can divide and produce more cancer cells, as well as create additional stem cells. Currently available CML drugs fail to completely cure the disease because they do not target leukemia stem cells.

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