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Expanding Waistlines May Contribute To Cancer Says New Report

By Rob Poulos...

While many people know that the dangers of obesity include diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, what many people don’t realize is that Expanding Waistlines May Contribute To Cancer and cause the disease to escalate faster than in normal sized people. It’s long been thought that there was a link between obesity and cancer, but until now, researchers didn’t know where that link existed. Now, new findings by researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston show that the fat progenitor cell may be a factor in cancer acceleration by supporting vessels that give vital blood to tumors. This information was reported in the American Association for Cancer Research journal Cancer Research.

By studying groups of obese individuals, researchers have shown a link between obesity and some cancers, however, the physical reasons have not been discovered yet. Statistics from The World Health Organization show that in 2008, for example, there were 1.4 billion obese adults reported around the world and 7.6 million of them lost their battles to cancer that same year. It has long been hypothesized that the foods obese individuals consume may contribute to the cancer’s escalation, and while experts claim that diet is important, the excess fatty tissues on tumors are also a direct factor, too.

At UTHealth, the researchers have discovered a unknown link between the a tumors growth and a person’s weight. Research shows that the tumor sends out a signal attracting progenitor cells from white adipose tissues, in mouse research. The cells then support the team of blood cells that feed nourishment to the tumors. This shows for the very first time that having excess fat is a main factor in cancer progressing, despite the diet that contributed to the extra fat.

The study is attempting to understand the link between fat tissue and tumor growth, with the lab focusing on the role adipose stromal progenitor cells plays. These type of cells act as a stem cell in the fatty tissues, leading researchers to discover their expansion in an obese person’s body and how they are set into motion within the circulation system. Through experiments on mice, researchers have found that tumors attract the fat progenitors and then immerse them into the blood vessels, turning them into fat cells. This then makes the cancerous cells grow and survive.

Researchers at the University of Texas feel their work will go a long way towards helping the obese community in their fight against cancer. They are currently looking into the molecular make up of the dreaded fat progenitor cell and its attraction to the tumor. They are also looking and testing for new molecules cellular pathway from fatty tissues to the promotion of tumor growth.

This makes the next step in the investigation to de-activate the fat progenitor cells and therefore slow down the cancer growth, says Mikhail Kolonin, Ph.D., senior author and associate professor at the Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine at the Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases at UTHealth.

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