In spite of great progress in basic research and clinical treatment, breast cancer remains the most prevalent and lethal type worldwide among woman. Obesity is an established risk factor for breast cancer in postmenopausal women, associates with shorter patients’ survival and increases the propensity to develop invasive ductal cancer (IDC) rather than ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Adipose tissue is a good reservoir for chronic inflammation with infiltration of immune cells like macrophages having activated inflammasome, which is believed to be the cause of insulin resistance in obese patients. Chronic inflammation and obesity are common evil factors behind many human diseases including cancer and diabetes. However, the mechanistic link between obesity and breast cancer progression remains unknown. Our current research focuses on mechanistic study of obesity-promoted breast cancer progression. We reason that adipose tissue-induced inflammasome activation is a critical promoter for breast cancer progression. Our proposed research will have significant impacts on basic science and clinical application. The current proposal will unveil a common mechanism behind obesity-related diabetes, breast cancer, or other diseases. Targeting inflammasome related components may provide a potential therapeutic regime to treat obesity-related breast cancer or other diseases.

Learn more:
Vandanmagsar, B. et al. The NLRP3 inflammasome instigates obesity-induced inflammation and insulin resistance. Nature medicine 17, 179-188, doi:10.1038/nm.2279 (2011).