James CCC Header Gray Genome Wheel 2017


A $1.28 million, four-year grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) will help OSUCCC – James researchers test the ability of an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA)-rich fish oil supplement to reduce the risk of recurrence in women with highly aggressive subtypes of breast cancer.

Led by principal investigator Lisa Yee, MD, associate professor of Surgical Oncology at Ohio State and a member of the Molecular Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention Program at the OSUCCC – James, the team will randomize high-risk breast cancer survivors to either a placebo-low dose or a high-dose omega-3 PUFA capsule treatment. The researchers will use fine needle aspiration techniques to obtain breast cells and tissue for analysis.

Their primary aim is to determine the ability of dietary omega-3 fatty acids to modulate breast epithelial and adipose tissue biomarkers of anti-carcinogenic activity in women at high risk for recurrence of either ERPR(-)HER-2/neu(+) breast cancer or ERPR(-)HER-2/neu(-) breast cancer (also known as triple negative). 

Yee says their central hypothesis, based on preclinical studies, is that the development of these aggressive subtypes may be thwarted by omega-3 PUFAs found in fish oil. 

As noted in the project’s abstract, “Our preclinical studies have demonstrated a strong benefit for dietary omega-3 fatty acid-rich fish oil for inhibiting ERPR(-)HER-/(neu(+) mammary tumors in a transgenic mouse model, showing decreased tumor incidence, multiplicity and glandular atypia.”

A secondary aim of the project, Yee adds, is to define the role of dietary omega-3 PUFAs in epigenetic regulation of the inflammatory responses underlying breast cancer. 

Development of novel biomarkers of omega-3 PUFA exposure and response will enable researchers to assess this fish oil supplement in future large-scale prevention trials for women at risk for recurrence of ERPR(-)HER-2/neu(+) breast cancer or triple-negative breast cancer.

Ohio State co-investigators on the project include Saeed Bajestani,  MD; Martha Belury, PhD; Steven Clinton, MD, PhD; Joanne Lester, PhD, CRNP; Zhongfa Liu, PhD; Kenneth Riedl, PhD; Steven Schwartz, PhD; and Jianying Zhang, PhD

© 2023 The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center –
James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute
460 W. 10th Ave.
Columbus, Ohio 43210

News & Media
Contact Us
Research & Education
Find a Clinical Trial
Referrals to Ohio State
Patient Support