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Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is an indolent disorder with an increased infectious risk remaining one of the main causes of death. Development of therapies with higher safety profile is thus a challenging issue. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6) is an omega-3 fatty acid, a natural compound of normal cells, and has been shown to display antitumor potency in cancer. We evaluated the potential in vitro effect of DHA in primary CLL cells. DHA induces high level of in vitro apoptosis compared to oleic acid in a dose-dependent and time-dependent manner. Estimation of IC50 was only of 4.813 μM, which appears lower than those reported in solid cancers. DHA is highly active on CLL cells in vitro. This observation provides a rationale for further studies aiming to understand its mechanisms of action and its potent in vivo activity.
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