From U Aberdeen: “Study finds new link between Omega-fatty acids and bowel cancer”

U Aberdeen bloc

University of Aberdeen

26 June 2017
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Caption ’nuff said. Credit: University of Aberdeen

A study by the University of Aberdeen has found that a higher concentration of the molecules that breakdown omega-3 fatty acids is associated with a higher chance of survival from bowel cancer.

This is the first time that molecules associated with the breakdown of omega–3 and omega-6 have been associated with survival in bowel cancer.

The study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, measured the proportion of the enzymes responsible for the metabolism of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in tumours found in bowel cancer patients, and compared it to the patient’s survival.

Results showed that a higher proportion of omega-3 metabolising enzyme to omega-6 metabolising enzyme is associated with less spread of the tumour and a greater chance of survival for an individual patient.

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that are thought to have opposing effects on health. This study looked specifically at the enzymes responsible for breaking down omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and their relationship with survival in bowel cancer.

Professor Graeme Murray who led the study explains: “There is big variation in how people survive cancer of the large bowel and how they respond to treatment and we don’t know what makes some people respond more favourably than others – this is what this research is trying to establish.

“The molecules or ‘metabolites’ that arise from the breakdown of omega-3 – prevent tumour spread and we assume that with more of the enzyme that breaks down omega-3 there will be increased metabolites of omega-3, and this will limit tumour spread. The less a tumour has spread the better the outcome. The converse is true for omega-6 metabolising enzyme – such that a higher proportion of omega-6 metabolising enzyme compared to omega-3 could lead to a worse outcome for the patient.

“Prior to this study we did not know that such a relationship existed between these enzymes and survival in bowel cancer.

“Our findings are important because it highlights a new pathway for understanding survival from bowel cancer.”

See the full article here .

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Founded in 1495 by William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen and Chancellor of Scotland, the University of Aberdeen is Scotland’s third oldest and the UK’s fifth oldest university.

William Elphinstone established King’s College to train doctors, teachers and clergy for the communities of northern Scotland, and lawyers and administrators to serve the Scottish Crown. Much of the King’s College still remains today, as do the traditions which the Bishop began.

King’s College opened with 36 staff and students, and embraced all the known branches of learning: arts, theology, canon and civil law. In 1497 it was first in the English-speaking world to create a chair of medicine. Elphinstone’s college looked outward to Europe and beyond, taking the great European universities of Paris and Bologna as its model.
Uniting the Rivals

In 1593, a second, Post-Reformation University, was founded in the heart of the New Town of Aberdeen by George Keith, fourth Earl Marischal. King’s College and Marischal College were united to form the modern University of Aberdeen in 1860. At first, arts and divinity were taught at King’s and law and medicine at Marischal. A separate science faculty – also at Marischal – was established in 1892. All faculties were opened to women in 1892, and in 1894 the first 20 matriculated female students began their studies. Four women graduated in arts in 1898, and by the following year, women made up a quarter of the faculty.

Into our Sixth Century

Throughout the 20th century Aberdeen has consistently increased student recruitment, which now stands at 14,000. In recent years picturesque and historic Old Aberdeen, home of Bishop Elphinstone’s original foundation, has again become the main campus site.

The University has also invested heavily in medical research, where time and again University staff have demonstrated their skills as world leaders in their field. The Institute of Medical Sciences, completed in 2002, was designed to provide state-of-the-art facilities for medical researchers and their students. This was followed in 2007 by the Health Sciences Building. The Foresterhill campus is now one of Europe’s major biomedical research centres. The Suttie Centre for Teaching and Learning in Healthcare, a £20m healthcare training facility, opened in 2009.

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