Adipose tissue influences tumour growth and metastasis

Findings from three studies presented at ESMO Asia place growing importance on the role of adipose tissue in the growth, development and progression of tumours.

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Jun Kinoshita (Kanazawa University, Japan) (Abstract 14P) reported that adipose-tissue derived stem cells (ASCs) promoted tumour progression in an in vivo study of gastric cancer. Tumour volume was significantly greater and the ratio of fibrotic tissue was significantly lower, while the expression of α-SMA was higher and that of E-cadherin was lower for animals in which tumour cells were co-injected with ACS compared with those injected with tumour cells alone.

Findings from an in vivo study of various tumours, including breast cancer and melanoma, revealed that adipose tissue vasculature has important implications for tumour growth and progression (Abstract 15P).

“Mice implanted with tumour cells in their white or brown adipose tissue had tumours that grew significantly faster than when tumour cells were implanted in subcutaneous tissue.” Sharon Lim (Karolinska University Hospital-Solna, Stockholm, Sweden).

The reasons for this disparity could be down to increased neovascularisation, blood perfusion and leakage from microvessels in adipose tissue.

Promising results from an in vitro study in prostate cancer cells were reported by Shoichiro Ohta (Josai University, Sakado, Japan) showing dose-dependent inhibitory effects of n-3 fatty acids (Abstract 16P). The n-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) were tested against a prostate cancer cell line and displayed an ability to suppress cell migration and invasion, and inhibit cancer cell proliferation. The mechanisms behind these processes are yet to be fully elucidated.

This article appeared in the Sunday 18 December 2016 edition of the  Congress Highlights.