An aqueous formulation of gamma-linolenic acid with anti-proliferative action on human pancreatic cancer cell lines.


Agombar A, Cooper AJ, Johnson CD.




Anticancer Drugs


Essential fatty acids, especially gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), have been shown to directly inhibit the growth of cancer cell lines in culture. The aim of this study was to see whether an aqueous formulation of GLA works as well as the lithium-based salt. We evaluated the effect of the 1-deoxy-1-methylamino-D-glucitol salt of GLA (MeGLA) on the growth of two human pancreatic cancer cell lines (Panc-1 and MIA PaCa-2) in vitro, and compared its effects with a previously studied formulation, lithium GLA (LiGLA). The effect of time exposure (2-7 days) and difference in concentration (0-1000 micromol/l) were studied using 96-well culture plates. Cell growth was assessed by MTT assay. Control experiments were performed with meglumine alone in similar concentrations. MeGLA had cytostatic and cytotoxic effects on pancreatic cancer cell lines with 50% growth inhibition at 30-100 micromol/l and cytotoxic effects at 60-250 micromol/l. The degree of growth inhibition increased with time of exposure to MeGLA. The anti-proliferative effects of MeGLA were similar to those previously observed with LiGLA. We conclude that MeGLA has equivalent anti-proliferative activity to LiGLA when tested in vitro against pancreatic cancer cell lines and is therefore a suitable alternative to LiGLA for investigation of the in vivo activity of GLA against pancreatic adenocarcinomas.