Posted by Chantel Martiromo
Ovarian cancer is defined as
a condition of abnormal ovarian cells growth of ovaries. It is
one of most common cancer in US, according to the statistics adapted
from the American Cancer Society's publication, Cancer Facts &
Figures 2010, an estimated 21,880 women in the United States will be
diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 13,850 deaths.
Folate, also known as folic acid, vitamin B9, is a water soluble vitamin, found abundantly in leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, beans, whole grain, etc.
The vitamin plays an important role in synthesize DNA, repair DNA, and
methylate DNA as well as to act as a cofactor in certain biological
reactions, production of red blood cells for anemia prevention.
Epidemiological studies, focusing folate in reduced risk of ovarian cancer have been inconclusive.
Folate, a member of B vitamin plays an important role in DNA synthesis
and methylation, may process an anti proliferative effect in ovarain
cancer cell lines. The Australian Ovarian Cancer
Study (1363 cases, 1414 controls) self-completed risk factor and
food-frequency questionnaires, showed a little evidence to support the
effect of folate in reduced risk of ovarian cancer(1) and ovarian cancer survival(2). Other researchers suggested that no specific dietary factors are consistently associated with ovarian cancer risk, including folate(3), neither folate intake, MTHFR C677T polymorphism(4) nor one-carbon metabolism(5)
A prospective case-control study of the effect of Folic acid and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) against ovarian cancers in 215 ovarian cancer patients and 218 controls (all Chinese) between Jan. 2004 and Jan. 2007, indicated a result of a 2.43-fold increased risk of ovarian cancer among MTHFR 677TT carriers, and a decreased risk of ovarian cancer in individuals with high folate
intake(6). Intravenous administration of composition of FA-NP showed
more potent in anti proliferation than NP against both SKOV3 cells and
SKOV3/TAX cells, but at the same dose failed to induce apoptosis and
inhibit tumor nodule number. Of these results, researchers suggested that the combined use of both
FN-NP locally and targetly might prolong the survival time in patients
with drug-resistant ovarian cancer(6).
The Brigham and Women's Hospital study also supported the evidence of
one-carbon metabolism related nutrients, especially vitamin B(7) and
methionine inlowering ovarian cancer risk, with a 1910 women with ovarian cancer and 1989 controls from a case-control study conducted in eastern Massachusetts and New Hampshire from 1992 to 2008(8).
Taking all together, there are either enough evidences supported or
unsupported the effectiveness of folate in reduced risk of ovarian
cancer. Further studies with large sample size and mutli centers studies
are necessary to clarify the effect of folate in ovarian cancer risk.
At the mean time as always, all articles written by Kyle J. Norton are
for information & education only, please consult your Doctor &
Related field specialist before applying
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(1) Folate and related micronutrients, folate-metabolising genes and risk of ovarian cancer by Webb PM1, Ibiebele TI, Hughes MC, Beesley J, van der Pols JC, Chen X, Nagle CM, Bain CJ, Chenevix-Trench G; Australian Cancer Study (Ovarian Cancer); Australian Ovarian Cancer Study Group.(PubMed)
(2) Dietary folate and related micronutrients, folate-metabolising genes, and ovarian cancer survival by Dixon SC1, Ibiebele TI2, Protani MM1, Beesley J2, Defazio A3, Crandon AJ4, Gard GB5, Rome RM6, Webb PM1, Nagle CM7; on behalf of the Australian Ovarian Cancer Study Group.(PubMed)
(3) Dietary intake and ovarian cancer risk: a systematic review, by Crane TE1, Khulpateea BR, Alberts DS, Basen-Engquist K, Thomson CA.(PubMed)
(4) Folate intake and MTHFR polymorphism C677T is not associated with ovarian cancer risk: evidence from the meta-analysis by Li C1, Chen P, Hu P, Li M, Li X, Guo H, Li J, Chu R, Zhang W, Wang H.(PubMed)
(5) Relationship between dietary and supplemental intake of folate, methionine, vitamin B6 and folate receptor alpha expression in ovarian tumors by Kotsopoulos J1, Hecht JL, Marotti JD, Kelemen LE, Tworoger SS(PubMed)
(6) Folate intake and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene polymorphisms as predictive and prognostic biomarkers for ovarian cancer risk by Zhang L1, Liu W, Hao Q, Bao L, Wang K.(PubMed)
(7) Folic acid-coupled nano-paclitaxel liposome reverses drug resistance in SKOV3/TAX ovarian cancer cells by Tong L1, Chen W, Wu J, Li H.(PubMed)
(8) Folate, vitamin B(6) , vitamin B(12) , methionine and alcohol intake in relation to ovarian cancer risk by Harris HR1, Cramer DW, Vitonis AF, DePari M, Terry KL.(PubMed)