Omega-3 fatty acids inhibiting the growth of a transplantable rat mammary adenocarcinoma

J Natl Cancer Inst. 1987 Sep;79(3):593-9.


BN/Bi inbred female rats fed diets containing different amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids, either of the omega-3 or omega-6 type, each received an implant of a syngeneic mammary adenocarcinoma. When the diameter of the tumors reached 20 mm, they were surgically removed; 2 weeks thereafter the animals were sacrificed and lung metastases were counted. Cellular immune response was determined before tumor inoculation; certain prostaglandin values in plasma and platelet aggregation were measured before and after tumor inoculation. Plasma prostaglandin E2 and thromboxane B2 values were significantly decreased in those rats fed a diet containing menhaden oil. 6-Keto-prostaglandin F1 alpha, cellular immune response, and platelet function were not significantly different in either one of the diet groups. Tumor growth in the groups of rats receiving the omega-3 fatty acids in their diet was significantly inhibited in comparison with that in the rats receiving the omega-6 fatty acids. However, the number of metastases was not significantly altered.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / blood
  • Adenocarcinoma / immunology
  • Adenocarcinoma / prevention & control*
  • Animals
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / pharmacology*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / blood
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / immunology
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / prevention & control*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Platelet Aggregation / drug effects
  • Prostaglandins / blood
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Thromboxane B2 / blood


  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Prostaglandins
  • Thromboxane B2