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Diets high in fat found to promote prostate cancer metastasis; fast food lifestyle risk confirmed

Researchers from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) offered new evidence on how genetic mechanisms advance metastasis (or the spread of cancer from its initial site to other areas in the body), particularly for indolent tumors such as those found in the prostate. The set of papers, which were published in the journals Nature Genetics and Nature Communications, also associated a “typical Western high-fat diet” as a factor in prostate cancer metastasis.

  • Epidemiological data traces many cancer types, including prostate cancer, to dietary fats (as well as obesity). In the U.S., incidence and mortality rates for cancer at higher than in countries that have diets with a lower fat content.
  • PTEN, the gene responsible for tumor suppression, is also associated with prostate cancer — an estimated 70 percent of primary prostate tumors is also accompanied by a partial loss of PTEN, and its complete loss is correlated to metastatic prostate disease. However, in vivo studies proffer otherwise.
  • Recent genomic data revealed that PML, another gene for suppressing tumor growth, is also lost in a third of metastatic prostate tumors that were reviewed.
  • When the tumors that do not have PTEN and PML were reviewed, the cell’s lipogenic — or fat production — switch were out of control.
  • Moreover, in vivo testing, wherein mice were fed with a diet that was high in saturated fats (like those in fast food), also developed aggressive and metastatic tumors.
  • The findings could lead to more accurate and predictive mouse models when dealing with metastatic prostate cancer. This could help with the discovery of more efficient ways of managing and treating the disease.
  • This could also help health professionals make a better prognosis for at-risk patients who do not have PTEN and PML genes.

Researchers, therefore, linked the loss of PTEN and PML genes, as well as a diet that is high in saturated fat, to be key factors in the promotion of metastasis of prostate tumors.

Journal reference:

ScienceDaily. 2018 January 15. Edition. Boston (MA): Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; [2018 January 25].

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