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Obesity And Prostate Cancer – What Is The Association?

September 4th, 2017

Obesity And Prostate Cancer – What Is The Association?

Obesity And Prostate Cancer – What Is The Association?

Obesity not only affects aesthetic looks and presentation of the affected person, but also welcomes numerous diseases including certain cancers. Moderate to severe obesity is known to provoke aggressive cancers however; the exact mechanism is not clearly understood as yet. Prostate cancer is one of the leading cancers in men that is associated with high morbidity as well as mortality despite numerous diagnostic and therapeutic options available.

Obesity And Prostatic Malignancy

According to a new study, prostate cancer is more common in obese males. As per research conducted by Institut de Pharmacologie researchers, adipose tissues around prostate gland facilitates the propagation of cancerous multiplication of cells outside the gland. Here is how this works:

Obesity and Bladder Cancer image

Periprostatic adipose tissues (PPAT) are fat deposits that surrounds the prostate tissue. With massive deposition of adipose tissues around the cancerous prostate tissue, the risk of progression or spread to normal tissues increases. According to new research, the cancerous prostate cells encounters little resistance while invading the fat deposits, which plays a significant stepin the cancer spread. Since the size and number of PPAT in obese men is greater, therefore, distant metastasis occurs more frequently and quickly in them.

Besides serving as a direct conduit to the passage of cancerous cells, the malignant cells also secretes various bioactive molecules such as, chemokines that act as a stimulus and attract other cells. Researchers investigated if these changes are responsible for aggravating the cancer. Upon evaluation, it was found that CCL7, a type of chemokine secreted by PPAT attracts tumor cells, expressing CCR3 receptor towards adipose tissues, a doorway to rest of the body.

Details Of The Study

To observe the degree of influence obesity has on this phenomenon, researchers compared effects on obese and normal weight mice. Predictably, mice fed with fat rich diet showed marked progression in disseminating cancer. CCL7 is secreted in greater amount in obese people. However, upon implanting tumor cells that no longer express CCR3 receptors in prostate gland of mice, the spread and advancement of cancer growth was significantly decreased. Similar results were observed in human males. Around 100 tumor samples proved that lower expression of CCR3 receptors leads to less dissemination of disease. Researchers believe, targeting CCR3 can help in preventing aggressive spread of prostate cancer.


  • Finley, D. S., Calvert, V. S., Inokuchi, J., Lau, A., Narula, N., Petricoin, E. F., … & Ornstein, D. K. (2009). Periprostatic adipose tissue as a modulator of prostate cancer aggressiveness. The Journal of urology, 182(4), 1621-1627.
  • Ribeiro, R., Monteiro, C., Catalán, V., Hu, P., Cunha, V., Rodríguez, A., … & Lobo, F. (2012). Obesity and prostate cancer: gene expression signature of human periprostatic adipose tissue. BMC medicine, 10(1), 108.

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