Study Reveals Why Breast Cancer Appears to Be More Aggressive in Obese People

Study Reveals Why Breast Cancer Appears to Be More Aggressive in Obese People
Breast cancer occurs more frequently and is more progressive in obese patients, according to a new study from an international team of researchers who found that the fat around tumors aids in the expansion and invasion of cancer stem cells (CSCs), which are responsible for the growth of tumors. Cancer stem cells are a small subset of cells within tumors that are responsible for metastasis and allow cancers to spread and form in several organs of the body. Because conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy are not able to eliminate CSCs, a relapse often occurs after the first successful treatment. The influence of obesity on cancer morbidity and mortality is supported by the research -- specifically, that up to 20 percent of cancer-related deaths may be associated with obesity. Obese women are at greater risk of developing breast cancer after menopause, and they experience a worse progression of the disease, regardless of age. The mechanisms by which obesity leads to the development of cancer still remain unclear. Obesity-related fat can be responsible for local inflammation and can prevent adipocytes, cells that primarily compose adipose tissue, from maturing. In the study titled "Interactions between Adipocytes and Breast Cancer Cells Stimulate Cytokine Production and Drive Src/Sox2/miR-302b–Mediated Malignant Progression,” published in Cancer Research, researchers cultured adipocytes and breast cancer cells together and observed th
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