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EJC NEWS FOCUS: December 2016: Why does obesity promote cancer?

Scientists have come up with various mechanisms to explain why obesity promotes cancer. A group in Portugal believes that inflammation may be key. Joao Incio and his colleagues at Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA say that inflammation may exert its effect by accelerating immune cell recruitment to tumours and boosting collagen-producing cells.

The resulting increase in fibrosis – desmoplasia – may in turn prevent chemotherapy from reaching its intended target. As Joao Incio tells Helen Saul in this month's EJC News Focus, the research has interesting implications, from the need to think about testing treatments on overweight mice, to the possibility of a new role in cancer treatment for some old and cheap drugs.

The research was presented at EACR24 in Manchester, UK; June 2016. Joao Incio is now at I3S Institute for Innovation and Health Research, Oporto, Portugal

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