Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fish oil boosts responses to breast cancer drug tamoxifen, researchers find

Date:
April 8, 2011
Source:
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Summary:
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women. Being exposed to estrogen over a long period of time is one factor that can increase a woman's risk of developing the disease. One way a woman can combat this risk factor is by taking the breast cancer drug tamoxifen. Now, researchers have found that omega-3 fatty acids could be a safe and beneficial booster for tamoxifen therapy.

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women, with more than 200,000 women diagnosed each year. Being exposed to estrogen over a long period of time is one factor that can increase a woman's risk of developing the disease. One way a woman can combat this risk factor is by taking the breast cancer drug tamoxifen, which interferes with the activity of estrogen. Now, researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center have found that omega-3 fatty acids -- abundant in fish -- could be a safe and beneficial booster for tamoxifen therapy.

Jose Russo, MD, director of the Breast Cancer Research Laboratory at Fox Chase, is presenting the new findings at the AACR 102nd Annual Meeting 2011 on April 6.

To investigate how fish oil intensifies the effects of tamoxifen, Russo, in collaboration with a team led by Andrea Manni, MD, from Pennsylvania State University, induced mammary tumors in rats and then divided the animals into four groups. They fed the groups either a 17 percent fish oil diet, with or without tamoxifen, or a 20 percent corn oil diet, with or without tamoxifen, for eight weeks. They then analyzed gene expression patterns in the tumors. Omega-3 fatty acids produced a greater expression of genes related to cellular specialization, or differentiation -- a sign of lower cancer severity -- compared to corn oil. The combination of fish oil and tamoxifen reduced the expression of genes linked to tumor growth and spreading.

"If a tumor was being treated with tamoxifen, the addition of an omega-3 fatty acid diet seemed to make the tumor, at least at the molecular level, more benign and less aggressive and responsive to tamoxifen," says Russo.

The fish oil diet also boosted the expression of genes related to immune defenses against tumors, more so than did the corn oil diet. But omega-3 fatty acids simultaneously increased the expression of genes that trigger counterproductive immune responses, such as inflammation and allergic reactions, which curtail the ability of cells to fight cancer and can even promote the migration of tumor cells.

More studies are needed to fully understand the effects of fish oil on the immune system, Russo says. Meanwhile, his team is examining whether omega-3 fatty acids can prevent breast cancer in animals and testing the influence of diet on breast cancer risk in women.

Co-authors on the study include Bidinotto, L.T.; Vanegas, J.E.; Vanden Heuvel, J.P.; Lopez, R.; Santucci-Pereira, J.; Washington, S., Xu; H., Russo I.H.; El-Bayoumy, K.; and Manni, A. from Fox Chase.

The work was supported by a grant from Susan G. Komen for the Cure.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fox Chase Cancer Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fox Chase Cancer Center. "Fish oil boosts responses to breast cancer drug tamoxifen, researchers find." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110406085050.htm>.
Fox Chase Cancer Center. (2011, April 8). Fish oil boosts responses to breast cancer drug tamoxifen, researchers find. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110406085050.htm
Fox Chase Cancer Center. "Fish oil boosts responses to breast cancer drug tamoxifen, researchers find." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110406085050.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
More People Diagnosed With TB In 2013, But There's Good News

More People Diagnosed With TB In 2013, But There's Good News

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) The World Health Organizations says TB numbers rose in 2013, but it's partly due to better detection and more survivors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins