Researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, have found that omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, may be a safe and beneficial booster for tamoxifen therapy.*
Jose Russo, MD, director of the Breast Cancer Research Laboratory at Fox Chase, recently presented the new findings at the AACR 102nd Annual Meeting 2011. Russo worked in collaboration with a team led by Andrea Manni, MD, from Pennsylvania State University. Together, they induced mammary tumors in rats and then divided the animals into four groups.
They fed the groups either a 17% fish oil diet, with or without tamoxifen, or a 20% 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, 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,” Russo said.
Editor’s note: This is a very important study in support of fish oil as adjuvant therapy with tamoxifen for breast cancer. This also supports Life Extension®’s long-held belief that an overabundant intake of omega-6 PUFAs has negative health effects. The traditional American diet contains copious levels of omega-6 PUFAs in comparison with omega-3 PUFAs.