Navigation Links
Fat cells in abdomen fuel spread of ovarian cancer
Date:10/30/2011

A large pad of fat cells that extends from the stomach and covers the intestines provides nutrients that promote the spread and growth of ovarian cancer, reports a research team based at the University of Chicago in the journal Nature Medicine, published online October 30th, 2011.

Ovarian cancer, the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in women, tends to spread within the abdominal cavity as opposed to distant organs. In 80 percent of women, by the time ovarian cancer is diagnosed, it has spread to the pad of fat cells, called the omentum. Often, cancer growth in the omentum exceeds the growth of the original ovarian cancer.

"This fatty tissue, which is extraordinarily rich in energy-dense lipids, acts as a launching pad and energy source for the likely lethal spread of ovarian cancer," said study author Ernst Lengyel, MD, PhD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Chicago. "The cells that make up the omentum contain the biological equivalent of jet fuel. They feed the cancer cells, enabling them to multiply rapidly. Gaining a better understanding of this process could help us learn how to disrupt it."

The researchers performed a series of experiments to identify the role of these fat cells as major mediators of ovarian cancer metastasis. The first step was to understand the biological signals that attract ovarian cancer cells to the omentum and use it for rapid growth.

The spread of ovarian cancer cells to the omentum can happen quickly. Ovarian cancer cells injected into the abdomen of healthy mice find their way to the omentum within 20 minutes. The researchers found that protein signals emitted by the omentum can attract the tumor cells. Inhibitors which disturbed these signals reduced this attraction by at least 50 percent.

Once ovarian cancer cells reach the omentum, they quickly develop the tools to devour the sustenance provided by this fatty tissue, reprogramming their metabolism to thrive on lipids acquired from fat cells. Ovarian cancer can rapidly convert the entire omentum, a soft fat pad, into a solid mass of cancer cells.

"This mechanism may not be limited to ovarian cancer cells," the authors note. Fat metabolism may also contribute to cancer development in other environments where fat cells are abundant, such as breast cancer.

A protein known as fatty acid binding protein (FABP4), a fat carrier, may be crucial to this process and could be a target for treatment.

When the researchers compared primary ovarian cancer tissue with ovarian cancer tissue which had spread to the omentum, they found that tumor cells next to omental fat cells produced high levels of FABP4. Cancer cells distant from the fat cells did not produce FABP4.

When they inhibited FABP4, the transfer of nutrients from fat cells to cancer cells was drastically reduced. Inhibition of FABP4 also reduced tumor growth and the ability of tumors to generate new blood vessels.

"Therefore," the authors wrote, "FABP4 emerges as an excellent target in the treatment of intra-abdominally disseminating tumors, which preferentially metastasize to adipose tissue such as ovarian, gastric, and colon cancers."


'/>"/>
Contact: John Easton
john.easton@uchospitals.edu
773-795-5225
University of Chicago Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Evidence for spinal membrane as a source of stem cells may advance spinal cord treatment
2. Lung stem cells offer therapeutic clues
3. Students coax yeast cells to add vitamins to bread
4. Space debris, more efficient LEDs, and thinner, cheaper solar cells
5. Dormant malaria parsites in red blood cells may contribute to treatment failure
6. New discoveries on the state of hemoglobin in living red blood cells
7. Cells are crawling all over our bodies, but how?
8. Simple nerve cells regulate swimming depth of marine plankton
9. Regenerating eyes using cells from hair: Stem Cells awards research into stem cell deficiency
10. Water channels in the body help cells remain in balance
11. Light can detect pre-cancerous colon cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Fat cells in abdomen fuel spread of ovarian cancer
(Date:3/27/2017)... March 27, 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) ... Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 ... sm . In addition, CHS previously earned a ... using an electronic medical record (EMR). ... level of EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... DUBLIN , Mar. 23, 2017 Research ... Anti-Theft System Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" ... ... to grow at a CAGR of around 8.8% over the next ... This industry report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... At this year,s CeBIT Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel visited ... to the DERMALOG stand together with the Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe. ... the largest German biometrics company the two government leaders could see the ... well as DERMALOGĀ“s multi-biometrics system.   Continue Reading ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... Cancer diagnostics and pathology ... B2 at the Association for Pathology Informatics Annual Summit at the ... demonstrating its Cancer Diagnostic Cockpit and Consultation Portal, Inspirata will present research it ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... , ... May 20, 2017 , ... ... helps avoid the lengthy trial and error process by finding the right antidepressant ... can also strengthen the doctor-patient relationship through a personalized approach to treatment. ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The University City Science Center is seeking ... commercialization, and who are affiliated with the 21 partner academic and research institutions ... in its tenth round, is the first multi-institutional proof-of-concept program for the life ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... May 18, 2017 , ... Lajollacooks4u has ... Challenge is a two-hour team-building package designed for groups of 10-30 people. ... Abel, which include items, such as Blackened Shrimp with Edamame Salad, Pizza Rolls ...
Breaking Biology Technology: