Abstract Title:

Dietary fat and breast cancer metastasis by human tumor xenografts.

Abstract Source:

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 1997 Nov-Dec;46(2-3):225-37. PMID: 9478277

Abstract Author(s):

D P Rose, J M Connolly

Article Affiliation:

Division of Nutrition and Endocrinology, American Health Foundation, Valhalla NY 10595, USA.


Human breast cancer cell lines growing as xenografts in athymic nude mice have been used to examine the effects of dietary fat and fatty acids on tumor progression. The estrogen independent MDA-MB-435 cell line has the advantage that it metastasizes consistently to the lungs and forms quantifiable secondary nodules when injected into the mammary fat pads. With these breast cancer cells, the stimulating effects of polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acids on both primary tumor growth and metastasis were demonstrated; in contrast, the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids were inhibitory. The model can also be adapted to examine dietary fatty acids, and inhibitors of their metabolism, as experimental adjuvant therapy after surgical excision of the primary tumors. Unfortunately, estrogen dependent human breast cancer cells do not metastasize, or do so rarely, in nude mice; in consequence, it is not possible to use the model to study estrogen-fatty acid interactions on the metastatic process. In addition to metastasis from a primary location, intravenous injection of MDA-MB-435 cells into the nude mouse host, particularly when combined with studies using Matrigel-based in vitro invasion assays, permits further dissection of the steps in the metastatic cascade which are influenced by dietary fatty acids. The results obtained by these several approaches have demonstrated distinct roles for the cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase-mediated products of omega-6 fatty acid metabolism, and suggest new approaches to experimental breast cancer therapy.

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