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Projects & Results

Investigating the anti-cancer effects of novel bioactive oils

Project Details

Lead Researcher(s)

Catherine Field



Funding Partners


April 2015 - April 2018


The Challenge

With an estimate of 1 in 8 Canadian women developing breast cancer in their lifetime, strategies to improve treatment of this disease are necessary.

The Project

Establish the anti-cancer activity, the mechanism and impact on chemotherapy treatment of three novel, designer oils:

  1. High-DHA/EPA canola oil; an alternative to fish and single cell sources
  2. High-stearidonic flax oil; providing a fatty acid that bypasses the rate limiting step in the synthesis of EPA/DHA
  3. High-punicic acid canola oil; providing a fatty acid that can be endogenously converted to c9t11 CLA.

DHA: Docosahexaenoic, EPA: Eicosapentaenoic, CLA: Conjugated Linoleic Acid

The Results

Data generated from this grant has provided evidence needed to develop new engineered bioactive oils and to move to a clinical trial. Patent uptakes for new oils are pending and the DHA supplement* will be used in a clinical trial beginning January 2019.

* DHA Supplement: DHA-WIN (Docosahexaenoic acid for Women with Early Breast Cancer in the Neoadjuvant Setting).

Grower Benefits

Benefits the population at risk for and impacted by breast cancer, along with the industries responsible for the development, production and refinement of novel oil products.


Anti-cancer, Chemotherapy, Cancer treatment