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Prostate. 2019 Jan;79(1):9-20. doi: 10.1002/pros.23706. Epub 2018 Aug 2.

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease prostate cancer progression associated with an anti-tumor immune response in eugonadal and castrated mice.

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Laboratoire d'Uro-Oncologie Expérimentale, Oncology Axis, Centre de Recherche du CHU de Québec-Université Laval, Québec, Quebec, Canada.
Faculté de Medicine, Université Laval, Québec, Quebec, Canada.
Endocrinology and Nephrology Axis, Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec-Université Laval-CHUL, Québec, Quebec, Canada.



Several lines of evidence suggest effects of dietary fat on prostate cancer (PCa) development and progression. Targeting omega (ω)-3:ω6 fatty acids (FA) ratio could be beneficial against PCa by favorably modulating inflammation. Here, we studied the effects of ω3- and ω6-enriched diets on prostate tumor growth and inflammatory response in androgen-deprived and non-deprived conditions.


Immune-competent eugonadal and castrated C57BL/6 mice were injected with TRAMP-C2 prostate tumor cells and daily fed with ω3- or ω6-enriched diet. FA and cytokine profiles were measured in blood and tumors using gas chromatography and multiplex immunoassay, respectively. Immune cell infiltration in tumors was profiled by multicolor flow cytometry.


ω3-enriched diet decreased prostate TRAMP-C2 tumor growth in immune-competent eugonadal and castrated mice. Cytokines associated with Th1 immune response (IL-12 [p70], IFN-γ, GM-CSF) and eosinophil recruitment (eotaxin-1, IL-5, and IL-13) were significantly elevated in tumors of ω3-fed mice. Using in vitro experiments, we confirmed ω3 FA-induced eotaxin-1 secretion by tumor cells and that eotaxin-1 secretion was regulated by androgens. Analysis of immune cell infiltrating tumors showed no major difference of immune cells' abundance between ω3- and ω6-enriched diets.


ω3-enriched diet reduces prostate tumor growth independently of androgen levels. ω3 FA can inhibit tumor cell growth and induce a local anti-tumor inflammatory response. These findings warrant further examination of dietary ω3's potential to slow down the progression of androgen-sensitive and castrate-resistant PCa by modulating immune cell function in tumors.


TRAMP-C2; androgens; cytokines; eotaxin-1; inflammation


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