Dietary peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)γ ligands, linoleic acid (LA) and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), showed anticancer effects in colorectal carcinoma cells. LA is metabolized by two pathways. Cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 produces procarcinogenic prostaglandin E2, whereas 15-lipoxygenase (LOX)-1 produces PPARγ ligands. The 15LOX-1 pathway, which is dominant in colorectal adenomas, was downregulated and inversely COX-2 was upregulated in colorectal cancer. LA and CLA inhibited peritoneal metastasis of colorectal cancer cells in nude mice. The inhibitory effect was abrogated by PPARγ antisense treatment. A continuous LA treatment provided cancer cells quiescence. These quiescent cells formed dormant nests in nude mice administrated LA. The quiescent and dormant cells showed downregulated PPARγ and upregulated nucleostemin. Thus, short-term exposure to dietary PPARγ ligands inhibits cancer metastasis, whereas consistent exposure to LA provides quiescent/dormant status with possible induction of cancer stem and/or progenitor phenotype. The complicated roles of dietary PPARγ ligands are needed to examine further.