New research reveals that dangerous fat poses a concealed cancer risk.
OBESITY has become a global epidemic in recent decades, with incidences nearly tripling. Obesity is associated with a decreased number of cancer-killing cells, according to a recent study.
According to a 2019 survey, over a quarter of adults in England are obese, with more than a third being overweight. Obesity increases the risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and cancer significantly. According to new research, people who are viscerally obese have the fewest cancer-killing cells in their tumors, decreasing their odds of survival.
Blood fat and tumor tissue samples were gathered from oesophageal cancer patients by a team of investigators lead by Dr Melissa Conroy and doctor Joanne Lysaght from Trinity College Dublin’s School of Medicine.
Obese patients exhibited a much decreased count of National Killer cells, which are specialized white blood cells that operate as a defense barrier for the immune system.
The researchers showed that visceral obesity and NK cells in tumors have an inverse relationship, with viscerally obese patients having the fewest NK cells in their tumors.
“For the first time, our team has shown that the most viscerally obese oesophageal and gastric cancer patients have the lowest number of crucial cancer-killing natural killer cells in their tumors, and our work has confirmed that visceral obesity has devastating consequences for the anti-cancer immune response in these patients,” said Doctor Conroy.
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“A protein called fractal king pulls natural killer cells into the visceral fat of these patients, where they are changed and even depleted.
“As a result, cancer-fighting immune cells are unable to reach and combat the tumor in adequate numbers.”
The research, which was published in the Journal of Immunology, also discovered a molecular pathway that can be targeted with medicines to prevent NK cells from migrating away from tumors.
Fractalkine, a protein discovered by researchers, is thought to play a critical role in attracting NK cells to visceral fat and modifying their activity.
The findings give hope that a novel method could one day make a difference by redirecting and reinvigorating the anti-cancer immune response, according to the researchers.
“Importantly, we have proved that the migration of natural killer.” Brinkwire Summary News, stated Doctor Conroy.