Stabilization of Lyso-Phosphatidylcholine-levels in patients with cancer

apl. Prof. Dr. U. Massing1) – University of Freiburg, Germany and Prof. Dr. G. Fricker2) – University of Heidelberg, Germany

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apl. Professor Dr. Ulrich MassingUniversity of Freiburg, Pharmaceutical Technology, Hermann-Herder-Str. 9, 79104 Freiburg i.Br., Germany


Professor Dr. Gert FrickerUniversity of Heidelberg, Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology, Im Neuenheimer Feld 329, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany

People involved

Rebecca Vieth (PhD fellow sponsored by the PRC) - University of Heidelberg, Germany


Lyso-Phosphatidylcholine (LPC)-levels are strongly reduced in patients suffering from cancer due to a high LPC-demand of metastatic cancer cells.1) Low LPC-levels are expected to cause severe weakness/fatigue and multiple organ failure resulting in death. We found that Phosphatidylcholine (PC), LPC and α-Glycero-phosphocholine (α-GPC), given in rather higher doses, have the potential to stabilize or to increase LPC-levels in human bodies. Thus, PC, LPC and α-GPC are drug candidates for i.v. or p.o. application to improve the course of disease in patients with cancer.2)

The goal of this project is to investigate the LPC-metabolism in humans and animals as well as the effect of orally or systemically applied PC, LPC and α-GPC on the LPC-metabolism to contribute to a new, low-side-effect-strategy in treatment of cancer.

Benefit for the community

Demonstrating the beneficial impact of lipid supplementation in cancer patients will certainly help to improve their quality of life and to develop new strategies of therapeutic intervention in such severe diseases.

Visit the supervisors lab

Contact to Prof. Fricker

Taylor LA, Arends J, Hodina AK, Unger C, Massing U, 2007
Plasma lyso-phosphatidylcholine concentration is decreased in cancer patients with weight loss and activated inflammatory status
Lipids Health Dis. 6, 17
Raynor A, Jantscheff P, Ross T, Schlesinger M, Wilde M, Haasis S, Dreckmann T, Bendas G, Massing U, 2015
Saturated and mono-unsaturated lysophosphatidylcholine metabolism in tumour cells: a potential therapeutic target for preventing metastases
Lipids Health Dis. 14, 69
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