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Fish Oil, not Avastin, Fights Breast Cancer

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Early media reports say that Avastin made by Roche does not give breast cancer patients any benefits. It has been used for a few years, FDA advisers now say this drug should not be used as a treatment for breast cancer.

The FDA panel voted 12 to 1 Tuesday to remove the drug's indication for use in patients with breast cancer in combination with chemotherapy.

The FDA does not have to follow its advisers' recommendation, but it is often that the agency does.

Avastin was approved in 2008 based on results of a trial showing that it helped shrink breast tumors, which indicates that the drug may help breast cancer.  But two follow-up studies failed to repeat the result. The drug does not extend patients' lives either.

Avastin is also indicated for use in patients with colon, lung, kidney, and brain cancer.  The FDA panel's ruling only affects the indication of the drug for breast cancer patients.

Studies have suggested that diet and dietary supplements like fish oil may help fight breast cancer.

Dimri M and colleagues from NorthShore University HealthSystem Research Institute in Illinois demonstrated in a laboratory study that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have anti-oncogenic and chemopreventive effects against breast cancer.

In the study reported in the March 2010 issue of Carcinogenesis, the researchers tested dietary omega-3 fatty acids on the polycom group protein, which is overexpressed in several human cancers including breast cancer.

Dimri et al. treated breast cancer cells with omega-3 fatty acids and found omega-3 fatty acids downregulated the PcG gene.  They also decreased invasion of breast cancer cell.

The results suggest that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, but not omega-6 PuFAs help fight breast cancer.

Jimmy Downs

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