Patients with cancer frequently overexpress inflammatory cytokines with an associated neutrophilia both of which may be downregulated by diets with high omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFA). The anti-inflammatory activity of dietary ω-3 PUFA has been suggested to have anticancer properties and to improve survival of cancer patients. Currently, the majority of dietary research efforts do not differentiate between obesity and dietary fatty acid consumption as mediators of inflammatory cell expansion and tumor microenvironmental infiltration, initiation, and progression. In this chapter, we discuss the relationships between dietary lipids, inflammation, neoplasia and strategies to regulate these relationships. We posit that dietary composition, notably the ratio of ω-3 vs. ω-6 PUFA, regulates tumor initiation and progression and the frequency and sites of metastasis that, together, impact overall survival (OS). We focus on three broad topics: first, the role of dietary lipids in chronic inflammation and tumor initiation, progression, and regression; second, lipid mediators linking inflammation and cancer; and third, dietary lipid regulation of murine and human tumor initiation, progression, and metastasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Number of pages29
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019


  • Cancer
  • Diet
  • Inflammation
  • Lipoxygenases
  • Metastasis
  • Myeloid-derived suppressor cells
  • Myeloplasia
  • Neutrophils
  • Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • Prostaglandins
  • Tumor progression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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