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Increasing evidence supports the contention that many malignancies, including sporadic colorectal cancer, are driven by the self-renewing, chemotherapy-resistant cancer stem/stem-like cells (CSC/CSLC), underscoring the need for improved preventive and therapeutic strategies targeting CSCs/CSLCs.
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFA), have been reported to inhibit the growth of primary tumors, but their potential as a preventive agent for recurring cancers is unexplored.
The primary objectives of this investigation are (i) to examine whether eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; one of the ω-3 PUFA) synergizes with FuOx (5-FU+Oxaliplatin), the backbone of colon cancer chemotherapy, and (ii) whether EPA by itself or in combination with conventional chemotherapy prevents the recurrence of colon cancer via eliminating/suppressing CSCs/CSLCs. FuOx-resistant (chemoresistant; CR) colon cancer cells, highly enriched in CSCs, were used for this study.
Although EPA alone was effective, combination of EPA and FuOx was more potent in (i) inhibiting cell growth, colonosphere formation, and sphere-forming frequency, (ii) increasing sphere disintegration, (iii) suppressing the growth of SCID mice xenografts of CR colon cancer cells, and (iv) decreasing proinflammatory metabolites in mice. In addition, EPA + FuOx caused a reduction in CSC/CSLC population.
The growth reduction by this regimen is the result of increased apoptosis as evidenced by PARP cleavage. Furthermore, increased pPTEN, decreased pAkt, normalization of β-catenin expression, localization, and transcriptional activity by EPA suggests a role for the PTEN-Akt axis and Wnt signaling in regulating this process.
Our data suggest that EPA by itself or in combination with FuOx could be an effective preventive strategy for recurring colorectal cancer.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2014 Nov;7(11):1138-48. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-14-0177. Epub 2014 Sep 5.Omega-3 fatty acid is a potential preventive agent for recurrent colon cancer.
Vasudevan A1, Yu Y2, Banerjee S3, Woods J1, Farhana L2, Rajendra SG1, Patel A1, Dyson G4, Levi E5, Maddipati KR6, Majumdar AP7, Nangia-Makker P7.