Development of novel anti-cancer metastasis agents derived from omega-3 fatty acid metabolites


At present we have no therapies that prevent cancer spread. In this project we will develop novel w-3 fatty acid epoxide analogues that inhibit tumour metastasis. These derivatives will be developed as new anti-cancer agents by testing in cultured tumour cells and, later, in animal models. 


Professor Michael Murray

Research Location

Camperdown - School of Medical Sciences

Program Type



Metastasis is the major life-threatening characteristic of malignant breast tumours; at present we have no effective therapies. Intake of w-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids decreases cancer spread, whereas w-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are prevalent in western diets, stimulate tumour growth. We found recently that an epoxide of w-3 eicosapentaenoic acid inhibits the growth and spread of tumour cells. In this project we will extend this finding and develop novel w-3 epoxide analogues that retain anti-metastatic activity. The underlying hypothesis is such derivatives may be developed as novel anti-cancer agents with potent anti-metastatic properties. Techniques: synthetic organic chemistry using protocols developed in this laboratory. The molecules will be tested in cultured cells using a combination of real-time PCR and immunoblotting, cell migration assays and flow cytometry. Molecular modeling will be used to define the structural features in the molecules that are important for activity.

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Cancer, metastasis, tumour

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 1547