Fatty acids as a potential adjuvant in cancer therapy
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This review presents pro- and anticancer effects of fatty acids in vitro and in vivo. The epidemiological and experimental data indicate that short-chain saturated and long-chain unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids exert protective effects against some cancers. In the contrary, omega-6 fatty acids are rather procancerous and can increase tumour proliferation. The possible mechanisms are still not fully understood and are very variable including: suppression of neoplastic transformation, direct cytotoxicity, apoptosis induction, antiangiogenicity etc. Experimental data indicate that fatty acid composition of cancer cells in cultures or in animals can be modified to make the cells more susceptible to lipid peroxidation, increasing the cell damage due to oxidant stress and make the cells more sensitive to chemotherapy. It is reasonable to suppose that fatty acids supplementation can make an enrichment of traditional tools for modern anticancer strategies.
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W. Przybyszewski, Centrum Onkologii-Instytut im.M.Sklodowskiej-Curie, Wybrzeze Armii Krajowej 15, 44-101 Gliwice, Poland