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Curative strategies for chronic myelogenous leukemia

W. Elaine Hardman, Ph.D.


Scientists think that about 1/3 to ½ of all cancers could be PREVENTED by dietary changes. A goal of my research is to assess the ability of various dietary changes to prevent cancer.

Recently completed:

  • A grant from the DOD Breast Cancer Research Program, to assess the differential effects of canola oil verses corn oil on breast cancer development. Early results indicated that consumption of canola oil (20% omega 6, 10% omega 3) instead of corn oil (50% omega 6) in the diet may reduce the risk for mammary gland cancer. If these results continue, this is an easy dietary change that could reduce breast cancer in this country.
  • A grant from the American Institute for Cancer Research to assess the suppression of growth of breast cancer by consumption of walnuts.

Current research:

  • An American Institute for Cancer Research funded project is to assess the effect of increased consumption of walnuts (high in omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants and phytosterols) for prevention of cancer in a transgenic mouse model.
  • A clinical trial in collaboration with an oncologist to collect preliminary data to be competitive for a grant to perform a clinical study to assess the benefit of omega 3 fatty acids in patients. In this study, we hope to suppress progression of pre-malignant B-cell hyperplasia to leukemia by consuming an omega 3 supplement. Suppression of progression will be assessed by several biomarkers.
  • An RO1 project (National Cancer Institute) to assess the effects of long chain omega 3 fatty acids on breast cancer development. Preliminary results, using a transgenic mouse model of mammary cancer, indicate that inclusion of long chain omega 3 fatty acids in the maternal diet can significantly reduce the lifetime risk of mammary gland cancer in the offspring. Even without maternal consumption of omega 3, consumption of omega 3 by the offspring after weaning also reduces the risk for mammary gland cancer. Much work remains to determine the mechanisms of omega 3 fatty acids for protection from mammary gland cancer, to identify biomarkers that might be used in human cancer prevention trials and whether or not increased consumption of omega 3 fatty acids via dietary change or supplementation is a feasible cancer preventive strategy for humans.




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