June 20, 2021

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NEJM: Obesity affects immunity and promotes cancer development

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NEJM: Obesity affects immunity and promotes cancer development

NEJM: Obesity affects immunity and promotes cancer development.   At present, there are still many unknowns between obesity, immunity and cancer, but obesity promotes the development of cancer has outlined a relatively clear line-the upregulation of the PHD3 gene may be a way to turn some cold tumors into hot tumors.

If there are any “epidemic diseases” that cannot be avoided in the 21st century, then “obesity” must have a name. But in fact, obesity has not been correctly recognized by many people, isn’t it just being a little bit fatter? How can it be considered a disease?

In fact, obesity has become a health problem that must be paid attention to in the 21st century. According to a number of current studies, obesity is closely related to the increase in the incidence of various diseases, including diabetes and cardiovascular diseases that we are familiar with. However, the harm of obesity is not only that, it is also closely related to cancer.

In fact, if you first observe the relationship between obesity and cancer, you have to start with diet. Improper diet will increase the incidence of cancer, this has been proven. In this development process, obesity has also been proved to be closely related to the occurrence of cancer. What is even more unfortunate is that obesity will increase the occurrence of chronic inflammation while inhibiting the body’s immune cells. We all know that immune cells are the natural enemies of cancer cells. Immune cells are affected and suppressed, so there is no doubt that the possibility of cancer will increase.

Recently, an article published in the top international journal “NEJM” brought us a comprehensive research discourse, telling us how obesity affects the body’s immunity to increase the incidence of cancer.

Picture source: “NEJM” official website

First of all, we need to understand the history of cancer. In fact, the human body is exposed to many carcinogens every day, and its own cells also undergo mutations, but most of these mutant cells will self-apopt and be eliminated. The main force in eliminating these mutated cells is immune cells. However, with the increase of age, the accumulation of carcinogenic factors in the human body continues to increase, and cancer cells continue to occur. With the aging of the immune system, the function of the immune system begins to decline. Until the immune cells can not effectively remove the cancer cells, then cancer may occur. .

Therefore, the ability to reduce immunity in advance and reduce the ability of human immune cells is more or less related to the occurrence of cancer. Obesity is closely related to changes in human immunity.

Part1·The indirect effect of obesity on cancer: chronic inflammation

As early as a long time ago, people found that chronic inflammation can promote the development of cancer, but it was not until nearly 30 years ago that people first discovered that obesity can also promote the occurrence of chronic inflammation.

So how does obesity affect chronic inflammation?

In most cases, obese people are often in a state of adequate nutrition (excess nutrients will be converted into fat storage). For digestion, the human body generally secretes more insulin and leptin. This regulation is in adipose tissue This is particularly obvious, and further studies have confirmed that these regulatory factors will promote the inflammatory state of T cells and macrophages.

Image source: Pixabay

Simply put, obesity can cause chronic inflammation throughout the body, and chronic inflammation is related to the occurrence and development of many diseases, including cancer. But in addition to this indirect impact, the direct impact of obesity on cancer is also huge.

Part2·The direct impact of obesity on cancer: tumor microenvironment

Just like people need food to take in nutrients, cells also need energy to provide activity supply. Obviously, fat tissue under obesity is the part that both cancer cells and immune cells need to fight for.

In order to find out how cancer cells and T cells interact in obesity, Ringel and colleagues conducted a new experiment in obese cancer animal models. The genetics, proteomics, and metabolomics of cancer cells and immune cells Were studied.

Image source: Pixabay

The study found that although the metabolism of cancer cells is mostly based on lipids, where there are more cancer cells, the number of killer T cells is smaller and their activity is lower-this is related to the down-regulation of a gene in cancer cells, that is PHD3 gene-Interestingly, it has been found in known studies that the PHD3 gene can regulate the hypoxia response and inhibit fatty acid oxidation.

In further research, it was found that if the expression of PHD3 gene in cancer cells is increased, it can help restore T cell function and achieve the effect of inhibiting tumor growth. This may change the current status of many solid tumor treatments. Among the 6 different types of cancer, it is found that 5 cancers that are not “cold” for immunotherapy (commonly known as “cold tumors”) all have PHD3 gene downregulation. Circumstances, this means that the PHD3 gene may be a potential therapeutic target.

Of course, at present, this direct impact still needs more clinical research to verify, and some studies have confirmed that obese patients respond better to immunotherapy, which may also be related to the immune response caused by obesity itself.

At present, there are still many unknowns between obesity, immunity and cancer, but obesity promotes the development of cancer has outlined a relatively clear line-the upregulation of the PHD3 gene may be a way to turn some cold tumors into hot tumors. Regardless of whether it is for healthy people or cancer patients, healthy eating and weight control within a reasonable range will bring us more health benefits.

(source:internet, reference only)

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