Saturday January 18, 2020

Obesity can lead to breast cancer

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The root cause of many health problems, obesity, can lead to breast cancer as well. A new study has found that obesity results in stiffer breast tissue that promotes the growth of cancer.

Obesity leads to a stiffening of the mesh work material that surrounds fat cells in the breast, called the extracellular matrix, and these bio-mechanical changes create the right conditions for tumours, the findings showed.

ThinkstockPhotos-200302239-001-e1434141030608Women who are obese have a higher risk and a worse prognosis for breast cancer, but the reasons have remained unclear till now.

“We all know that obesity is bad; the metabolism changes and hormones change, so when looking for links to breast cancer, researchers almost exclusively have focused on the biochemical changes happening,” said study senior author Claudia Fischbach, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Cornell University in New York.

“But what these findings show is that there are also biophysical changes that are important,” Fischbach noted.
The findings could lead to recognition of stiffer breast cells as a clinical biomarker for breast cancer.

Also, the results should caution doctors against using certain fat cells from obese women in plastic and reconstructive breast surgeries, as these cells can promote recurring breast cancer.
The findings, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, suggest clinicians may need to employ finer-scale imaging techniques in mammograms, especially for obese women, to detect a denser fat cells in the breast.

(With inputs from IANS)

 

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Researchers Find a New Mechanism to Prevent Obesity

New mechanism may safely prevent, reverse obesity

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Obesity
Stopping the obesity epidemic could be a critical aid in preventing and treating numerous cancers. Pixabay

Obesity, a global epidemic, is a known contributor to several cancers, including breast, colon, and pancreatic and in major breakthrough, researchers have discovered that a receptor found in almost all cells, called AHR, and known primarily to combat exposures to environmental chemicals, also plays a big role in the body’s metabolism.

Stopping the obesity epidemic could be a critical aid in preventing and treating numerous cancers and study, published in the journal International Journal of Obesity have found a critical target in this cause.

“We carried out experiments showing that when a drug named NF and known to block the AHR, was added to a high-fat diet, mice did not become any fatter than mice on a low-fat control diet,” said study researcher Craig Tomlinson from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Centre in the US.

“Mice on the high-fat diet with no NF became very obese within the same time span. No ill effects were observed from the drug,” Tomlinson added. According to the study, the research team then asked whether blocking the AHR with NF could not only prevent obesity but reverse it.

Obesity
Obesity is a known contributor to several cancers, including breast, colon, and pancreatic. Pixabay

“In these experiments, we allowed the mice to become obese on a high-fat diet, and then half the mice were switched to the high-fat diet containing the AHR blocker NF,” Tomlinson said.

Over the next few weeks, the mice switched to the high-fat diet containing NF dropped to the same body weight as those mice on the low-fat diet.

The remaining mice on the high-fat diet became obese. No ill effects were observed, the researchers said. The research team investigated the mechanisms behind how the AHR, when blocked by NF, prevented and reversed obesity.

Using previous knowledge that the AHR regulates key genes in fat metabolism, the team discovered that in liver cells and in fat cells, the AHR, when blocked by NF, fails to induce several key genes required for fat storage and synthesis.

They concluded that the prevention and reversal of obesity from blocking the activity of the AHR is due to key genes regulated by the AHR that are involved in fat metabolism.

“Few to no studies have shown that obesity can be reversed by a drug treatment; it is even rarer to know the underlying cellular mechanism,” Tomlinson noted.

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The research team has begun investigating several key questions, including those around the dietary compounds in the food we eat that activate the AHR to cause weight gain , and the role that gut bacterial play regarding the AHR. Most importantly, they have initiated a clinical trial to determine whether the AHR may serve as a therapeutic target to reduce obesity in humans. (IANS)