Fat-nurtured microbes in gut promote cancer progression: study



A team of Chinese cancer researchers has uncovered a novel mechanism through which obesity-related microbes in one’s gut can promote cancer progression. It involves the release of specific chemicals that can have a significant impact on the growth and spread of cancer cells.

A high-fat diet (HFD) is widely considered a significant risk factor for the malignant progression of various cancers, largely due to its disruptive effects on intestinal microbiota. However, the precise role of HFD in the development of cancer was previously not fully understood.

The researchers from Sun Yat-sen University established multiple models in cancer-bearing mice and found that fat-nurtured microbiota released abundant leucine, an amino acid found in many proteins.

An elevated leucine level in peripheral blood has been found to be associated with poor clinical outcomes in female patients with breast cancer, according to a study published on Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States.

In addition, abnormal gut microbiota are implicated in the development of resistance to chemotherapy and some immune therapies for breast cancer, lung cancer and melanoma.

The findings of this study open a broad avenue for anticancer therapeutic strategies by targeting the aberrant metabolism of gut microbiota, the researchers said.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency