An obesity-metastasis connection

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Science  01 Sep 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6354, pp. 883-884
DOI: 10.1126/science.357.6354.883-d

Obesity is associated with increased mortality from some types of cancer—but what are the mechanisms involved? One explanation is that obesity induces systemic inflammation, and Quail et al. investigated whether this promotes breast cancer metastasis to the lung in genetically engineered mice. They found that obesity increased the number and activation of neutrophils, which are inflammatory immune cells, especially in the lungs, and that this increased lung metastasis. Weight loss resulting from switching diets reduced the obesity-induced increases in lung metastasis in mice. It will be important to test whether weight loss in obese breast cancer patients can offset the higher mortality rates.

Nat. Cell Biol. 19, 974 (2017).

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