Recent research supports the beneficial effects of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) on inhibiting tumour development. Long‐chain fatty acids modulate the tumour cell response to chemotherapeutic drugs. Investigators recently claimed high dietary intake of omega‐6 polyunsaturated fatty acids such as linoleic acid especially in association with a low intake of omega‐3 polyunsaturated fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid to increase risks for cancers of the breast, colon and possibly prostate. In addition to these facts, a number of investigations have demonstrated that a modified fatty acid analogues are promising molecules in cancer prevention and have potential in the treatment of cancer. Although billions of dollars have been spent on research and development on anticancer drugs, the disease remains uncontrolled. It is expected that anticancer agents preferentially kill tumour cells without causing adverse effects on normal cells. But this is rarely achieved with the existing cancer therapy. Hence, polyunsaturated fatty acids have come under the category of nutraceuticals/functional foods; their exploration in the treatment of cancer may be considered as safe. This chapter describes the effects of long‐chain fatty acids and their analogues in cancer chemotherapy.
Part of the book: Fatty Acids