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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2607; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18122607

Determination of the Relative Efficacy of Eicosapentaenoic Acid and Docosahexaenoic Acid for Anti-Cancer Effects in Human Breast Cancer Models

1
Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences, Li Ka Shing Center for Health Research Innovation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E1, Canada
2
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2R3, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 27 November 2017 / Published: 4 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
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Abstract

Epidemiological studies have associated high fish oil consumption with decreased risk of breast cancer (BC). n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in fish and fish oils exert anti-cancer effects. However, few studies have examined the relative efficacy of EPA and DHA alone and in mixtures on BC subtypes. This was the objective of the present review, as this research is a necessity for the translation of findings to human health and disease. The literature suggests that DHA has a greater anti-cancer effect in triple negative BC (TNBC). In estrogen positive (ER+) BC, DHA has a greater effect on cell viability, while both fatty acids have similar effects on apoptosis and proliferation. These effects are associated with preferential uptake of DHA into TNBC lipid rafts and EPA in ER+ BC. EPA:DHA mixtures have anti-cancer activity; however, the ratio of EPA:DHA does not predict the relative incorporation of these two fatty acids into membrane lipids as EPA appears to be preferentially incorporated. In summary, DHA and EPA should be considered separately in the context of BC prevention. The elucidation of optimal EPA:DHA ratios will be important for designing targeted n-3 LCPUFA treatments. View Full-Text
Keywords: docosahexaenoic acid; eicosapentaenoic acid; epidermal growth factor receptor; Triple Negative Breast Cancer; ER+; HER2+; membranes; lipid rafts docosahexaenoic acid; eicosapentaenoic acid; epidermal growth factor receptor; Triple Negative Breast Cancer; ER+; HER2+; membranes; lipid rafts
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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VanderSluis, L.; Mazurak, V.C.; Damaraju, S.; Field, C.J. Determination of the Relative Efficacy of Eicosapentaenoic Acid and Docosahexaenoic Acid for Anti-Cancer Effects in Human Breast Cancer Models. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2607.

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