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Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2013 Jun;32(1-2):201-10. doi: 10.1007/s10555-012-9401-9.

The role of the tissue omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratio in regulating tumor angiogenesis.

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Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


Angiogenesis is a necessary step in tumor growth and metastasis. It is well established that the metabolites of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, which must be obtained through the diet and cannot be synthesized de novo in mammals, have differential effects on cellular processes. Omega-6 fatty acid (n-6 FA)-derived metabolites promote angiogenesis by increasing growth factor expression whereas omega-3 fatty acids (n-3 FA) have anti-angiogenic and antitumor properties. However, most studies thus far have failed to account for the role of the n-6 FA/n-3 FA ratio in angiogenesis and instead examined the absolute levels of n-6 and n-3 FA. This review highlights the biochemical interactions between n-6 and n-3 FA and focuses on how the n-6/n-3 FA ratio in tissues modulates tumor angiogenesis. We suggest that future work should consider the n-6/n-3 FA ratio to be a key element in experimental design and analysis. Furthermore, we recommend that clinical interventions should aim to both reduce n-6 metabolites and simultaneously increase n-3 FA intake.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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