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Omega-3 fatty acids more effective at inhibiting growth of triple-negative breast cancer
Date:4/9/2013

, lack receptors for progesterone, estrogen, and a protein called HER2/neu. As a result, this type of disease is insensitive to treatments like trastuzumab, which disrupts the HER2 receptor, and tamoxifen, which targets the estrogen receptor.

Russo notes that no targeted therapies are currently available for patients diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer. Combination chemotherapies are the standard of care for early-stage disease.

"This type of cancer, which is found more frequently in Latina and African-American women, is highly aggressive and has a low survival rate," says Russo. "There is not any specific treatment for it."

When a cancer cell digests omega-3s, the fatty acid is broken down into smaller molecules called metabolites. Russo, Pogash, and their colleagues tested the effect of large omega-3 parent molecules, as well as their smaller metabolic derivatives, on three luminal cell lines and seven lines that included basal-type triple-negative cells.

Omega-3 and its metabolites were observed to inhibit proliferation in all cell lines, but the effect was dramatically more pronounced in the triple-negative cell lines. In addition, the metabolites of omega-3 reduced the motility, or ability to move, by 20-60 percent in the triple-negative basal cell lines.

This study is part of a consortium between Fox Chase Cancer Center and Pennsylvania State University under a five-year grant awarded by the Komen Foundation. Russo is the principal investigator of the project at Fox Chase. Andrea Manni, MD, leader of the Pennsylvania State University team, has extended this work to animal models, studying the anticancer effects of omega-3s and its metabolites on mouse models of triple-negative breast cancer.

Russo and his colleagues are working on two related projects, one on the role of epigenetic events in the mechanism of cell transformation and another on the potential action of peptides of the hormone huma
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Contact: Diana Quattrone
diana.quattrone@fccc.edu
215-728-7784
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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