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Metabolic Factors in Obesity Contribute to Cancer Risk, Progression

Researchers are one step closer to understanding a link between cancer and obesity-associated inflammation, from work led by Maria D. Sanchez-Pino, PhD at LSU Health New Orleans’ School of Medicine and Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center, and published in Obesity.

“Inflammatory cells with immunosuppressive properties might act as a critical biological link between obesity and cancer risk, progression and metastasis,” according to an LSU Health press release. 

Evidence has shown that obesity increases the risk of cancer progression. They said research is still needed to identify “the causal relationship between immunosuppressive cells and the response of immunotherapy in patients with obesity.”

Myeloid cells with immunosuppressive properties called Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are produced in obesity—and in cancer patients, MDSCs are associated with poor survival and resistance to immunotherapy.

Researchers reviewed the literature and explain that altered metabolic factors such as lipids, and leptin in obesity contribute to the activation of immunosuppressive and cancer developing capabilities of myeloid cells.

"Deciphering the molecular mechanisms by which obesity-associated metabolic factors activate or enhance the function of Myeloid-derived Suppressor Cells and immunosuppressive macrophages will allow us to identify biomarkers for prognosis and therapeutic responses," according to Dr. Sanchez-Pino in the release. "It will also lead to the discovery of potential targets for pharmacological therapies that may disrupt the pathophysiologic inflammatory link between obesity and cancer."

By MD /alert Staff

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