Hongyu Xue, MD, PhD is studying how to prevent toxic effects on the heart of a chemotherapy drug which is commonly used to treat breast cancer. Breast cancer must be treated of course but can we prevent the adverse effects of drugs on the heart?
Doxorubicin (DOX) has been one of the most effective antitumor agents against a broad spectrum of cancers and possibly the most important component of the chemotherapy regimens for breast cancer. High dose of DOX may result in severe cardiotoxicity, the occurrence of compromised heart structure and/or function, which is the primary limiting factor for DOX clinical application. Cardiotoxicity was observed up to 20% of the patients receiving DOX.
Specific nutrients such as glutamine and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are hypothesized to affect ultimate outcomes related to cancer chemotherapy, with enhanced anti-cancer efficacy or/and less chemotherapy-induced toxicities. The goal of this project is first to examine if single and combined supplementation of glutamine and n-3 PUFAs can provide benefits in preventing DOX-induced cardiotoxicity and/or enhancing its anti-tumor efficacy. In this proposed study, we will use breast cancer-bearing rats treated with DOX as the animal model to mimic the clinical scenarios. On top of this model, we will further examine the therapeutic effects of single and combined treatments of glutamine and n-3 PUFAs.