Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Certain genes boost fish oils’ protection against breast cancer

22.09.2004


USC study hints at new targets for killing cancer cells

Researchers who found that fish oils appear to reduce breast cancer risk have now discovered that the oils may especially benefit women with particular genetic makeups. The protective effects of fish oils, called marine n-3 or omega-3 fatty acids, are linked to the cancer-fighting properties of the oil’s byproducts, propose investigators from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and the National University of Singapore. The study in Carcinogenesis was published early online through the journal’s Web site.

Moreover, researchers believe that women whose bodies do a poor job of getting rid of the fish oils’ byproducts are the ones who benefit most from consuming the oils. That may help scientists better understand exactly how fish oils deter cancer. "In this study, we found that women with certain common DNA patterns experienced more breast cancer protection from marine n-3 fatty acids than women with other common patterns," explained Manuela Gago-Dominguez, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the study’s lead author.



Findings came from the Singapore Chinese Health Study, a prospective investigation of diet and cancer risk in more than 63,000 Chinese men and women in Singapore. "Through this study, we have identified a novel gene-environmental interaction between certain genotypes and omega-3 fatty acids on breast cancer development," says Mimi C. Yu, Ph.D., professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School and principal investigator of the Singapore Chinese Health Study.

The researchers had already found that among postmenopausal women in this group, those who ate the most n-3 fatty acids (from fish such as salmon and mackerel) were 34 percent less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than women who ate the least n-3 fatty acids from fish. They suspected that lipid peroxidation products-that is, substances produced when the fatty acids break down-were behind the protection.

Gago-Dominguez explains that certain enzymes in the body known as glutathione S-transferases (GSTs, for short) help the body flush out and get rid of these lipid peroxidation products. Each person has certain genes that carry the recipe for making GST. But interestingly, these genes can be found in slightly different varieties-called polymorphisms-in the population. The differences between the genes can mean the difference between GST that clears substances efficiently out of the body and GST that works a little slower.

The researchers looked at the genetic makeup of study participants and grouped them according to which polymorphisms they had. They found that postmenopausal women who had low-activity versions of genes associated with GSTs (known as GSTM1, GSTT1 and GSTP1) had a lower risk of breast cancer. Women with a combination of the lowest-activity forms of GSTM1 and GSTP1 had 64 percent lower risk of the cancer, and women with a combination of the lowest-activity forms of GSTT1 and GSTP1 had a 74 percent lower risk of the cancer.

Among women with high-activity versions of GST-related genes, though, they saw no evidence that fish oils reduced breast cancer risk. That held true for both pre- and postmenopausal women.

Interestingly, laboratory studies have shown that cancer growth is suppressed by n-3 fatty acid byproducts, and the suppression is enhanced by drugs that increase lipid peroxidation. When antioxidants are introduce to battle the effects of peroxidation, though, the cancer continues to grow. "Our findings may have practical implications in treatment and prevention strategies for breast cancer," says Gago-Dominguez. "Marine n-3 fatty acids have been shown to enhance the cancer-killing effect of certain chemotherapy drugs and radiotherapy in experimental studies. Since these anti-cancer agents may act, at least in part, through similar oxidative mechanisms as n-3 fatty acids-which is why patients under chemotherapy are advised not to take antioxidant vitamin supplements-understanding the anti-cancer effect of marine n-3 fatty acids may be important to finding the mechanisms for killing cancer cells."

Sarah Huoh | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.usc.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short
23.03.2017 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

nachricht WPI team grows heart tissue on spinach leaves
23.03.2017 | Worcester Polytechnic Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>