Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 138, Issue 1, pp 175–183 | Cite as

A proof of principle clinical trial to determine whether conjugated linoleic acid modulates the lipogenic pathway in human breast cancer tissue

  • Margit M. McGowan
  • Burton L. Eisenberg
  • Lionel D. Lewis
  • Heather M. Froehlich
  • Wendy A. Wells
  • Alan Eastman
  • Nancy B. Kuemmerle
  • Kari M. Rosenkrantz
  • Richard J. BarthJr.
  • Gary N. Schwartz
  • Zhongze Li
  • Tor D. Tosteson
  • Bernard B. BeaulieuJr.
  • William B. Kinlaw
Clinical Trial

Abstract

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is widely used as a “nutraceutical” for weight loss. CLA has anticancer effects in preclinical models, and we demonstrated in vitro that this can be attributed to the suppression of fatty acid (FA) synthesis. We tested the hypothesis that administration of CLA to breast cancer patients would inhibit expression of markers related to FA synthesis in tumor tissue, and that this would suppress tumor proliferation. Women with Stage I–III breast cancer were enrolled into an open label study and treated with CLA (1:1 mix of 9c,11t- and 10t,12c-CLA isomers, 7.5 g/d) for ≥10 days before surgery. Fasting plasma CLA concentrations measured pre- and post-CLA administration, and pre/post CLA tumor samples were examined by immunohistochemistry for Spot 14 (S14), a regulator of FA synthesis, FA synthase (FASN), an enzyme of FA synthesis, and lipoprotein lipase (LPL), the enzyme that allows FA uptake. Tumors were also analyzed for expression of Ki-67 and cleaved caspase 3. 24 women completed study treatment, and 23 tumors were evaluable for the primary endpoint. The median duration of CLA therapy was 12 days, and no significant toxicity was observed. S14 expression scores decreased (p = 0.003) after CLA administration. No significant change in FASN or LPL expression was observed. Ki-67 scores declined (p = 0.029), while cleaved caspase 3 staining was unaffected. Decrements in S14 or Ki-67 did not correlate with fasting plasma CLA concentrations at surgery. Breast tumor tissue expression of S14, but not FASN or LPL, was decreased after a short course of treatment with 7.5 g/day CLA. This was accompanied by reductions in the proliferation index. CLA consumption was well-tolerated and safe at this dose for up to 20 days. Overall, CLA may be a prototype compound to target fatty acid synthesis in breast cancers with a “lipogenic phenotype”.

Keywords

Breast cancer Fatty acid Metabolism Conjugated linoleic acid 

Abbreviations

Ag+HPLC

Silver ion high pressure liquid chromatography

CLA

Conjugated linoleic acid

FA

Fatty acid

FASN

Fatty acid synthase

IHC

Immunohistochemistry

LPL

Lipoprotein lipase

S14

Spot 14, aka THRSP

Supplementary material

10549_2013_2446_MOESM1_ESM.doc (53 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 53 kb)
10549_2013_2446_MOESM2_ESM.doc (23 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOC 23 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margit M. McGowan
    • 1
  • Burton L. Eisenberg
    • 2
  • Lionel D. Lewis
    • 3
  • Heather M. Froehlich
    • 4
  • Wendy A. Wells
    • 4
  • Alan Eastman
    • 5
  • Nancy B. Kuemmerle
    • 1
  • Kari M. Rosenkrantz
    • 2
  • Richard J. BarthJr.
    • 2
  • Gary N. Schwartz
    • 1
  • Zhongze Li
    • 6
  • Tor D. Tosteson
    • 7
  • Bernard B. BeaulieuJr.
    • 3
  • William B. Kinlaw
    • 8
  1. 1.Section of Hematology/Oncology, Department of MedicineDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (MM & GS) and White River Junction VA Hospital (NK), and the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, The Geisel School of Medicine at DartmouthLebanonUSA
  2. 2.Section of Surgical Oncology, Department of SurgeryDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, The Geisel School of Medicine at DartmouthLebanonUSA
  3. 3.Section of Clinical Pharmacology, Department of MedicineDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, The Geisel School of Medicine at DartmouthLebanonUSA
  4. 4.Department of PathologyDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, The Geisel School of Medicine at DartmouthLebanonUSA
  5. 5.Dept of PharmacologyThe Norris Cotton Cancer Center, The Geisel School of Medicine at DartmouthLebanonUSA
  6. 6.The Norris Cotton Cancer Center, The Geisel School of Medicine at DartmouthLebanonUSA
  7. 7.Dept of Family and Community MedicineDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, The Geisel School of Medicine at DartmouthLebanonUSA
  8. 8.Section of Endocrinology, Department of MedicineDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, The Geisel School of Medicine at DartmouthLebanonUSA

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