Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Nuclear Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

2 Ionizing and Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection Research Center (INIRPRC), Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

3 Prof. Alborzi Clinical Microbiology Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

4 Department of Immunology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.


Background: Thyroid cancer and radioactive iodine (RAI) ablation for postsurgical management may lead to uncontrolled inflammation. Objective: This study was intended to assess the prophylactic and therapeutic immunomodulatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC). Methods: A total of 85 patients with DTC were allocated into two groups based on RAI dosage after thyroidectomy. Patients in each group were randomly distributed into three subgroups: G1 with RAI ablation only, G2 treated with omega-3 for 30 days before RAI ablation, and G3 treated with omega-3 for 30 days after RAI ablation. Fifteen healthy individuals were included as controls. Serum cytokine levels including IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-9, IL-10, IL-13, IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-21, IL-22, TNF-α and IFN-γ were determined by cytometric bead assay. Results: IL-4, IL-6, IL-21 and IL-22 levels in patients with DTC were higher than in the healthy controls. Regardless of RAI dosage, IL-6 showed an increasing trend after RAI ablation. IL-4, IL-22, and IL-17A remained at considerably higher levels than in the healthy controls after RAI ablation. Within-group comparisons showed a significant reduction in Th1+Th17/Th2+Th22 ratio in G2 patients 1 week after RAI ablation. Between-group comparisons showed increased IL-10 levels in G3 compared with G1 patients one week after high-dose RAI ablation. In G3, Th1+Th17/Th2+Th22 and Th1+Th17/Th2+Th9+Th22 ratios were remarkably lesser than in G2 patients 1 month after intermediate-dose RAI ablation. Conclusion: Our results showed better anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 when it was used therapeutically after RAI ablation in patients with DTC than when it was used prophylactically before RAI.