Breast Cancer Cells Feed On Dietary Fat Particles Present In The Bloodstream

breast cancer
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  • Almost 12% of women in the US alone are afflicted with breast cancer every year.
  • Breast cancer cells engulf dietary fat particles in the bloodstream as “free lunch.”
  • The results of a new study led by William Kinlaw have been published in the Journal of Lipid Research

According to a recent study, obesity and high-fat diets have been shown to significantly increase the risk of breast cancer. It has also been shown to worsen the prognosis and outcomes of patients with breast cancer.

William Kinlaw III, MD led a team of researchers at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Centre. The team sought to understand precisely how the fat present in a person’s diet can influence breast cancer cells.

A revolutionary study that sheds light on the behavior pattern of breast cancer cells

This new study showed that besides making new fat for fuel proliferation, cancer cells in the breastfeeding on large quantities of the fat that is derived from the various particles rich in a lipid that can be found in the bloodstream.

These particles are known to bind themselves to the surface of breast cancer cells. After that, they are taken inside the cells by a unique and novel mechanism.

This uptake offers a huge supply of fat to cancer cells that drive proliferation. These findings can be accessed in the Journal of Lipid Research.

As shared by Kinlaw, the team initially demonstrated that fatty particles present in the bloodstream have the ability to enhance the growth of cancer cells in the breast.

Their work shows that breast cancer cells have the ability to engulf huge amounts of pre-formed fats present in the blood through a unique mechanism of the uptake of fat particles known as “Endocytosis of Lipoproteins.”

In addition to that, this uptake leads to the metabolic reprogramming of cancer cells in order to exploit this “free lunch” as well as reveal a direct connection between cancer cell biology and dietary fat.

The literature present in this journal focuses on manufacturing new fat with the help of cancer cells considering them a therapeutic target.

Many pharma- and academic-based efforts are currently underway. They aim to target new fat synthesis by cancer cells. The work of Kinlaw and his team demonstrated that cancer cells present in the breast can avoid getting killed by using drugs that potentially inhibit the synthesis of fat by engulfing exogenous fat particles.

The next publication of the team will describe the impact of a high-fat diet on the biology of breast cancer in-vivo through the use of mouse models.

According to recent statistics, every one in eight women in the US is predicted to develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime.

According to the statistics of 2019, approximately 268,600 new cases were expected to arise of invasive breast cancer in addition to 62,930 cases of in situ noninvasive breast cancer.

This data clearly shows that women around the world are afflicted with invasive and noninvasive types of breast cancer on a daily basis. If statistics are to be believed, breast cancer is also the most commonly diagnosed cancer in approximately 184 countries globally.

This makes it all the more important to carry out research and investigations that help us treat cancer and help women worldwide.



    Himanshu is a law student who lives in Delhi. He caught the writing bug a few months ago and has been unstoppable ever since. He enjoys traveling, coffee, and the company of like-minded people.

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      2 months ago

      […] is the death of the cells in the heart that should elicit inflammation. However, this mechanism of cell injury followed by inflammation is […]

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