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The drug tamoxifen is one of the most effective medications for women who have received positive breast cancer tests. However, it works better in some individuals than other. A new study from the Fox Chase Cancer Center shows that increasing one's consumption of omega-3 fatty acids may be one way for women to boost the effects of tamoxifen.
For the study, researchers examined the effects of various diets combined with tamoxifen therapy on mice that were genetically programmed to develop breast cancer. The results of the study showed that mice fed diets rich in omega-3s were significantly less likely to show signs of gene expression indicating tumor growth.
"If a tumor was being treated with tamoxifen, the addition of an omega-3 fatty acid diet seemed to make the tumor, at least at the molecular level, more benign and less aggressive and responsive to tamoxifen," said Jose Russo, who led the investigation.
Additionally, the researchers noted evidence suggesting that the omega-3 diet boosted the test subjects' immune response specific to breast cancer.
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