Modulation of Breast Cancer Risk Biomarkers by High-Dose Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Phase II Pilot Study in Postmenopausal Women.


Associational studies suggest higher intakes/blood levels of the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) relative to the omega-6 arachidonic acid (AA) are associated with reduced breast cancer risk. We performed a pilot study of high-dose EPA + DHA in postmenopausal women to assess feasibility before initiating a phase IIB prevention trial. Postmenopausal women with cytologic evidence of hyperplasia in their baseline random periareolar fine needle aspiration (RPFNA) took 1,860 mg EPA +1500 mg DHA ethyl esters daily for 6 months. Blood and breast tissue were sampled at baseline and study conclusion for exploratory biomarker assessment, with P values uncorrected for multiple comparisons. Feasibility was predefined as 50% uptake, 80% completion, and 70% compliance. Trial uptake by 35 study entrants from 54 eligible women was 65%, with 97% completion and 97% compliance. Favorable modulation was suggested for serum adiponectin (P = 0.0027), TNFα (P = 0.016), HOMA 2B measure of pancreatic β cell function (P = 0.0048), and bioavailable estradiol (P = 0.039). Benign breast tissue Ki-67 (P = 0.036), macrophage chemoattractant protein-1 (P = 0.033), cytomorphology index score (P = 0.014), and percent mammographic density (P = 0.036) were decreased with favorable effects in a proteomics array for several proteins associated with mitogen signaling and cell-cycle arrest; but no obvious overall effect on proteins downstream of mTOR. Although favorable risk biomarker modulation will need to be confirmed in a placebo-controlled trial, we have demonstrated feasibility for development of high-dose EPA and DHA ethyl esters for primary prevention of breast cancer.

DOI: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-14-0336

6 Figures and Tables

Citations per Year

52 Citations

Semantic Scholar estimates that this publication has 52 citations based on the available data.

See our FAQ for additional information.

Cite this paper

@article{Fabian2015ModulationOB, title={Modulation of Breast Cancer Risk Biomarkers by High-Dose Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Phase II Pilot Study in Postmenopausal Women.}, author={Carol J. Fabian and Bruce F Kimler and Teresa A. Phillips and Jennifer L. Nydegger and Amy L Kreutzjans and Susan E. Carlson and Brandon H. Hidaka and Trina Metheny and Carola M. Zalles and Gordon B. Mills and Kandy R Powers and Debra K. Sullivan and Brian K. Petroff and Whitney L Hensing and Brooke L. Fridley and Stephen D . Hursting}, journal={Cancer prevention research}, year={2015}, volume={8 10}, pages={922-31} }