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Fat Cells Spur Cancer Regardless of Diet

Fat CellsObesity leads to tumor growth regardless of diet, at least in mice, with fat cells possibly helping to fuel tumor growth, finds a study published in Cancer Research.

Research clearly shows that obesity increases the risk of seven cancers, including post-menopausal breast and colon.

In this study, researchers first investigated the distinct effects of diet and fat (adipose) tissue, by using obese and lean mice. For one month, both groups of animals ate the same diet. After cancer was initiated, tumors grew faster in the obese animals compared to the lean animals.

The obese mice had more cells that tend to develop into fat or adipose cells – called adipose stromal cells. When scientists tracked the cells, it appeared some of the adipose stromal cells were recruited into tumors, where they then developed into fat cells. The cells also showed up in the blood vessels that provide tumors with nutrients and oxygen needed for growth.

Source: Y. Zhang, A. C. Daquinag, F. Amaya-Manzanares, O. Sirin, C. Tseng, M. G. Kolonin. Stromal Progenitor Cells from Endogenous Adipose Tissue Contribute to Pericytes and Adipocytes That Populate the Tumor Microenvironment. Cancer Research, 2012; 72 (20).

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