A combination of hydroxytyrosol, omega-3 fatty acids and curcumin improves pain and inflammation among early stage breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant hormonal therapy: results of a pilot study.
Clin Transl Oncol. 2019 Apr ;21(4):489-498. Epub 2018 Oct 6. PMID: 30293230
PURPOSE: Breast cancer patients receiving hormonal therapies face risks of relapse, increased rates of cardiovascular events, and toxicities of therapy such as aromatase inhibitor (AI)-associated musculoskeletal symptoms (AIMSS). C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker for inflammation, is associated with breast cancer outcomes. We evaluated whether the olive-derived polyphenol hydroxytyrosol combined with omega-3 fatty acids and curcumin would reduce CRP and musculoskeletal symptoms in breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant hormonal therapies.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: This prospective, multicenter, open-label, single arm, clinical trial enrolled post-menopausal breast cancer patients (n = 45) with elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) taking predominantly aromatase inhibitors to receive a combination of hydroxytyrosol, omega-3 fatty acids, and curcumin for 1 month. CRP, other inflammation-associated cytokines, and pain scores on the Brief Pain Inventory were measured before therapy, at the end of therapy and 1 month after completion of therapy.
RESULTS: CRP levels declined during the therapy [from 8.2 ± 6.4 mg/L at baseline to 5.3 ± 3.2 mg/L (p = 0.014) at 30 days of treatment], and remained decreased during the additional 1 month off therapy. Subjects with the highest baseline CRP levels had the greatest decrease with the therapy. Pain scores also decreased during the therapy.There were no significant adverse events.
CONCLUSIONS: The combination of hydroxytyrosol, omega-3 fatty acids, and curcumin reduced inflammation as indicated by a reduction in CRP and reduced pain in patients with aromatase-induced musculoskeletal symptoms. Longer studies comparing this combination to other anti-inflammatories in larger groups of patients with clinical outcome endpoints are warranted.