Losing weight if you are overweight can lower your risk of breast cancer
The risk of developing an aggressive form of breast cancer is high if you suffer from excessive weight (obesity). Certain messenger substances that are released into the blood due to obesity disrupt the metabolism of breast cancer cells. This in turn increases the risk of breast cancer, as a team of researchers from the Helmholtz Zentrum München, the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Heidelberg University Hospital report. A recent study was able to uncover the connection. Conversely, it can be said that weight loss also reduces the risk of aggressive breast cancer.
Obese people are at higher risk of more aggressive breast cancer. This is the conclusion reached by researchers from the Helmholtz Zentrum München, the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Heidelberg University Hospital. The background: messenger substances that are released into the blood during obesity influence the metabolism of breast cancer cells.
In the current study, the scientists describe a previously unknown mechanism that ensures that breast cancer spreads more widely. "The enzyme ACC1 plays a crucial role in this," explains Mauricio Berriel Diaz, deputy director of the Institute for Diabetes and Cancer at the Helmholtz Zentrum München.
“ACC1 is a key component of fatty acid synthesis. However, the messenger substances leptin and TGF-beta can prevent it from doing its job, ”says Berriel Diaz. These messenger substances are particularly common in the blood of heavily overweight people. The experts were able to show that this inhibition of ACC1 causes acetyl-CoA, a fatty acid precursor, to accumulate in the cells and activate certain gene switches (transcription factors). This primarily reads genes that lead to increased metastasis in cancer cells.
"Using human tissue from breast cancer metastases, we were able to show that ACC1 was significantly less active there," emphasizes Marcos Rios Garcia, first author of the study. If the researchers blocked the previously unknown signal path with an antibody, this led to a significantly reduced spread and metastasis of breast cancer tumors. Focus on new therapies The data situation could substantiate the new mechanism in further studies.
In addition, the scientists are considering possible adjustments that could be used to intervene therapeutically. "Blocking the signaling pathways mentioned or switching off the metastatic genes could represent a therapeutic target," study leader Stephan Herzig from TUM predicts: "As part of a so-called neo-adjuvant therapy, the risk of metastases or the risk of metastasis could be removed even before the tumor was surgically removed Reduce tumor recurrence. ” (sb)