New research into the role that fat cells play in relation to prostate cancer has revealed they may play a role in helping cancer cells both spread and become medication resistant.
Deeper Links Between Cancer and Obesity
Any medical professional will tell you that obesity carries with it many additional health risks, up to and including higher risk rates for certain types of cancer. New research into this association has uncovered more information into just how deep these links run and perhaps some of the mechanisms behind the entire process, revealing that fat tissue plays a role in making prostate cancer more migratory and less susceptible to treatment by medication.
The research findings, recently published in the journal Nature, directly studied fat tissue, or adipose stromal cells, and how these cells interacted with prostate cancer. Scientists discovered that prostate cancer cells used adipose stromal cells to infiltrate surrounding tissues. Researchers also found that this fat tissue also provided cancer cells with heightened resistance to some of the most popular cancer medications such as cisplatin, cabazitaxel, and docetaxel.
New Medication Shows Promise
In better news, the research team also conducted tests on the effectiveness of an experimental drug they had developed in order to combat the role that fat tissue played in safeguarding cancer cells. The medication, known as D-CAN, is designed to target and kill adipose stromal cells, was administered during the study; the result was that D-CAN treated tissues were found to be much less resistant to chemotherapy as a result.
While it will be quite some time before D-CAN will become available as a therapy for ensuring that related anti-cancer drugs are as effective as they can be, these results are of course promising. Much more research will be needed to ensure there are no unwelcome side effects associated with the new medication as well as what a therapeutic dose in humans will amount to, but the promise of better treatment in the future is a welcome one.
In the meantime, the new research findings revealing just how fat tissue aids the spread of prostate cancer can certainly be just one more motivating factor for anyone looking for a reason to lose weight.