The association between omega-3 (ω-3) fatty acids and prostate cancer has been widely studied. However, little is known about the impact of prostate tissue fatty acid content on prostate cancer progression. We hypothesized that compared with the estimated dietary ω-3 fatty acids intake and the ω-3 fatty acids levels measured in red blood cells (RBC), the prostate tissue ω-3 fatty acid content is more strongly related to prostate cancer progression. We present the initial observations from baseline data of a phase II clinical trial conducted in a cohort of 48 untreated men affected with low-risk prostate cancer, managed under active surveillance. These men underwent a first repeat biopsy session within 6 months after the initial diagnosis of low-risk prostate cancer, at which time 29% of the men had progressed from a Gleason score of 6 to a Gleason score of 7. At the first repeat biopsy session, fatty acid levels were assessed with a food-frequency questionnaire, and determined in the RBC and in the prostate tissue biopsy. We found that eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) was associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer progression when measured directly in the prostate tissue. Thus, this initial interim study analysis suggests that prostate tissue ω-3 fatty acids, especially EPA, may be protective against prostate cancer progression in men with low-risk prostate cancer.
©2014 American Association for Cancer Research.