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Fatty acids fight cancer spread: Scientists

Washington: Scientists claim that foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like fish and almonds could block the path of primary cancer tumours, thus preventing the advance to secondary stage cancers.

An international team, led by the University of Sydney, says it is using breast cancer tissue cells to gauge the blocking capacity of the omega-3 agents called epoxides on cancer cell movement.

Dr Michael Murray, who led the team, has said that a major life-threatening consequence of malignant breast tumours is metastasis where the disease has spread to distant sites (or tissues) and at present there are no treatments. He led his team to the discovery of the anti-metastatic actions of epoxides which are produced within the body from omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, a media release by the varsity said.

Prof Murray said: "These agents are a bit like frontline soldiers blocking the assault of an invading army and now we want to advance our research which was published late last year and apply it to breast cancer cells. We know that epidemiological studies have reported that dietary intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids including eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids, decrease the risk of certain cancers."

"And many of us are including sources of omega-3 such as tuna and salmon in our diet as a precaution. The objective of our new project is to speed the development of anti-metastatic agents based on omega-3 epoxides and trial their effectiveness in vivo on breast cancer tissue."

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