Study in mice finds weight loss reduces progression of basal-like breast cancer

Obesity, epidemic in the U.S. and worldwide, is one of the important modifiable risk factors for breast cancer, especially a particularly aggressive subtype called basal-like breast cancer (BBC). Population studies have suggested that lifestyle interventions, including weight loss, could prevent a large proportion of this type of cancer; however, data on the effect of weight loss on BBC risk are limited and the mechanisms involved uncertain.

Because BBC is so closely linked to obesity, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill wondered whether changes in mammary gland tissue, called the micro-environment, were drivers of this aggressive subtype cancer.Dr. Liza Makowski

Liza Makowski, PhD, assistant professor of nutrition in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and UNC School of Medicine, co-authored the study, “Weight loss reversed obesity-induced HGF/c-Met pathway and basal-like breast cancer progression,” published in Frontiers in Oncology as part of a research feature on “Obesity: An important driving force behind inflammation, altered immunity and cellular metabolism.”

Makowski also is a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Read the full story on the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health website