Cologne researchers find the connection between obesity and tumor growth
According to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer type in men and the second most common in women. Eight out of top ten countries in the world with the highest rates of incidence of colorectal cancer are EU countries.
Diet and lifestyle habits, in particular, play a fundamental role, as overweight people are at an increased risk of developing cancer. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research in Cologne have now uncovered the links between these two diseases and provide new therapeutic approaches for the prevention of obesity-associated cancers.
"If the body has to store more and more excess fat, it causes a stress response in the adipose tissue," explains research group leader Dr. Thomas Wunderlich. This stress response alerts the body's immune system, which in turn triggers inflammation in adipose tissue.
Chronic obesity puts the body under constant stress and inflammatory signals spread throughout the body. This ultimately leads to a reprogramming of immune cells, changing their function from cancer-fighting to tumor-promoting.
These new molecular-biological findings were recently published in the scientific journal Nature Communications. First author Claudia Wunderlich, who performed the majority of the studies, said: "Just because you're overweight does not mean you will immediately develop cancer. But when abnormal cells are present in the body, obesity can favour tumor growth.”
Not only does this study provide evidence on how obesity and colorectal cancer are related, but also additional encouraging findings. "Using mouse models, we were able to identify specific targets for possible therapeutic approaches in humans," explains Claudia Wunderlich.
The researchers already have promising results for reducing the risk of disease in obese mice. To do this, they either eliminated specific immune cell populations, or they genetically altered the animals so that certain immune cells could not be reprogrammed in the presence of a high-fat diet. In both cases, the inflammatory response was attenuated, abnormal cells were targeted for removal and the overall development of colon cancer was reduced.
Dr. Thomas Wunderlich
Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research, Cologne
+49 221 47260 678
Claudia M. Wunderlich, P. Justus Ackermann, Anna Lena Ostermann, Petra Adams-Quack, Merly C. Vogt, My-Ly Tran, Alexei Nikolajev, Ari Waisman, Christoph Garbers, Sebastian Theurich, Jan Mauer, Nadine Hövelmeyer, F. Thomas Wunderlich.
Obesity exacerbates colitis-associated cancer via IL-6-regulated macrophage polarisation and CCL-20/CCR-6-mediated lymphocyte recruitment.
Nature Communications, 2018.
Dr. Annegret Burkert | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung
Molecular motors run in unison in a metal-organic framework
20.03.2019 | University of Groningen
Active substance from plant slows down aggressive eye cancer
20.03.2019 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.
Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...
The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.
A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...
New research group at the University of Jena combines theory and experiment to demonstrate for the first time certain physical processes in a quantum vacuum
For most people, a vacuum is an empty space. Quantum physics, on the other hand, assumes that even in this lowest-energy state, particles and antiparticles...
Physicists in the EPic Lab at University of Sussex make crucial development in global race to develop a portable atomic clock
Scientists in the Emergent Photonics Lab (EPic Lab) at the University of Sussex have made a breakthrough to a crucial element of an atomic clock - devices...
11.03.2019 | Event News
01.03.2019 | Event News
28.02.2019 | Event News
20.03.2019 | Life Sciences
20.03.2019 | Life Sciences
20.03.2019 | Trade Fair News