Obesity and the tumor microenvironment

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Science  01 Dec 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6367, pp. 1130-1131
DOI: 10.1126/science.aao5801

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Obesity is a growing global epidemic and rivals smoking as the leading preventable risk factor for cancer incidence and mortality, being responsible for an estimated ∼20% of cancer-related deaths in adults (1). Obesity underlies a number of distinct but interconnected health conditions that have profound consequences for physiology, including hypernutrition, dysbiosis, hypercholesterolemia, metabolic syndrome, and chronic inflammation. Although each of these health conditions may affect cancer pathogenesis, inflammation, in particular, is known to be a potent driver of cancer initiation and progression through its ability to cultivate a microenvironment that is permissive to neoplastic transformation. Thus, as immuno-oncology continues to gain clinical importance, understanding the relationship between cancer and various inflammatory conditions, including obesity, is critical.