First author Dr. William Aronson at the University of California, Los Angeles, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center said a low-fat diet with fish oil supplements eaten for four to six weeks prior to prostate removal slowed the growth of cells in human prostate cancer tissue, when compared to a traditional, high-fat Western diet.
The finding, published in Cancer Prevention Research, found the low-fat, fish oil diet reduced the number of rapidly dividing cells in the prostate cancer tissue -- which is significant because the rate at which the cells are dividing can be predictive of future cancer progression. The lower the rate of proliferation, the less chance the cancer will spread outside the prostate, where it is much harder to treat.
"You truly are what you eat," Aronson, who also serves as chief of urologic oncology at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center, said in a statement. "Based on our animal studies, we were hopeful that we would see the same effects in humans. We are extremely pleased about our findings, which suggest that by altering the diet, we may favorable affect the biology of prostate cancer."