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Researchers confirm link between breast cancer sensitivity and polyunsaturated fatty acids

by , 03 July 2017
Researchers confirm link between breast cancer sensitivity and polyunsaturated fatty acids
Researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina in the United States recently conducted a study that found that treatment targeting glucose-regulated protein 78 - also known as GRP78 - may restore responsiveness to hormone-blocking breast cancer therapies.

The team of researchers published data that showed the efficacy of a GRP78-targeting morpholino molecule in inhibiting GRP78, successfully restoring sensitivity to tamoxifen in resistant breast cancer tumours. This study builds on previous research that showed elevated levels of GRP78 in breast cancer tumours. Read on for the full story...

Study explains the association between breast cancer sensitivity and glucose-regulated protein 78

The researchers published their study in the journal Cancer Research. It explained that they found that suppressed levels of GRP78 were associated with intracellular concentrations of polyunsaturated fats (both omega-3 and omega-6) including lineolic acid. This suggests that GRP78 plays an important role in cellular lipid metabolism.
 
“Morpholinos are candidate drugs already being used to target other proteins in clinical trials to treat prostate cancer but this is the first time inhibiting the gene expression of GRP78 with these agents may have potential to overcome resistance to chemotherapy,” Katherine Cook, assistant professor at Wake Forest School of Medicine, a part of Wake Forest Baptist, and the study’s lead author, said.

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Dietary measures such as consuming polyunsaturated fatty acid-rich foods may also boost therapeutic sensitivity

“While drugs against GRP78 protein are further along as a potential cancer therapy, dietary measures such as polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation may also enhance therapeutic sensitivity,” Cook said.
 
Foods that are good sources of polyunsaturated fatty acids include walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, flax oil, salmon, mackerel, herring, albacore tuna, trout, corn oil, soybean oil and safflower oil. The easiest way to incorporate them into your diet is by cooking and baking with plant-based oils.
 
Alternatively, you can take a polyunsaturated acid supplement, which you can pick up at your local pharmacy or health store, to improve breast cancer sensitivity.

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