S.A. researchers to showcase benefits of fish oil for breast cancer patients

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by Wendy Rigby / KENS 5

kens5.com

Posted on December 5, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 24 at 1:30 PM

SAN ANTONIO -- This week, the Cancer Therapy and Research Center is hosting the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Top scientists from all over the globe, including a group from the U.T. Health Science Center, will be presenting their findings.

Breast cancer can be a killer, especially when the disease spreads to the bone.
 
“Once the cancer gets to the bone, you cannot treat them with either chemotherapy or radiation therapy because the cells are mostly resistant,” explained U.T. Health Science Center biochemist Nandini Ghosh-Choudhury, Ph.D.
 
That’s why Ghosh-Choudhury is looking into the power of a simple supplement: fish oil. The idea is that the bioactive compound in fish oil may impact the spread of cancer.
 
“For people who already had a tumor that has gotten the surgery done, is it possible to block the metastasis using a fish oil diet?” Ghosh-Choudhury asked.
 
Using mice, San Antonio researchers were able to show that a diet of only 10 percent fish oil could shrink tumors dramatically.
 
Now, the scientists are looking at the impact on cancer that has moved to the bones.
 
Early results show fish oil can cut down on cells called osteoclasts that eat away at the bone tissue. It’s a non-toxic approach to treating a deadly threat.
 
“We are currently investigating how the fish oil can be used to treat breast cancer patients in combination with other drugs,” said biotechnology researcher Chandi Cahran Mandal, Ph.D.
 
The duo will present their findings to the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium on Thursday.
 
“We are very much excited about it,” Ghosh-Choudhury added.
 
About 8,000 researchers, doctors and patients are coming to San Antonio for the symposium begins on Tuesday, Dec. 6.

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