Dietary administration ofδ- and γ-tocopherol inhibits tumorigenesis in the animal model of estrogen receptor-positive, but not HER-2 breast cancer.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2012 Nov ;5(11):1310-20. Epub 2012 Sep 10. PMID: 22964476
Amanda K Smolarek
Tocopherol, a member of the vitamin E family, consists of four forms designated asα, β, γ, and δ. Several large cancer prevention studies with α-tocopherol have reported no beneficial results, but recent laboratory studies have suggested that δ- and γ-tocopherol may be more effective. In two different animal models of breast cancer, the chemopreventive activities of individual tocopherols were assessed using diets containing 0.3% of tocopherol (α-, δ-, or γ-) or 0.3% of a γ-tocopherol rich mixture (γ-TmT). Although administration of tocopherols did not prevent human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2/neu)-driven tumorigenesis, δ- and γ-tocopherols inhibited hormone-dependent mammary tumorigenesis in N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (NMU)-treated female Sprague-Dawley rats. NMU-treated rats showed an average tumor burden of 10.6 ± 0.8 g in the control group at 11 weeks, whereas dietary administration of δ- and γ-tocopherols significantly decreased tumor burden to 7.2 ± 0.8 g (P<0.01) and 7.1± 0.7 g (P<0.01), respectively. Tumor multiplicity was also reduced inδ- and γ-tocopherol treatment groups by 42% (P<0.001) and 32% (P<0.01), respectively. In contrast,α-tocopherol did not decrease tumor burden or multiplicity. In mammary tumors, the protein levels of proapoptotic markers (BAX, cleaved caspase-9, cleaved caspase-3, cleaved PARP) were increased, whereas antiapoptotic markers (Bcl-2, XIAP) were inhibited by δ-tocopherol, γ-tocopherol, and γ-TmT.Furthermore, markers of cell proliferation (PCNA, PKCα), survival (PPAR-γ, PTEN, phospho-Akt), and cell cycle (p53, p21) were affected by δ- and γ-tocopherols. Both δ- and γ-tocopherols, but not α-tocopherol, seem to be promising agents for the prevention of hormone-dependent breast cancer.