Research ArticleCancer

Obesity promotes resistance to anti-VEGF therapy in breast cancer by up-regulating IL-6 and potentially FGF-2

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Science Translational Medicine  14 Mar 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 432, eaag0945
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aag0945

Tailored treatment for cancer in obesity

Antiangiogenic therapy with inhibitors of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has not proven effective in patients with many tumor types, including breast cancer. Meanwhile, obesity is a well-known risk factor in many cancer types, and once again, this includes breast cancer. Now, Incio et al. link these two observations, having discovered a mechanism by which obesity promotes resistance to VEGF inhibitor therapy through increased interleukin-6 and possibly also fibroblast growth factor 2 in the tumor microenvironment. The authors target these pathways in mouse models of cancer with and without obesity and demonstrate that the deleterious effects of obesity on VEGF inhibition can be overcome through the appropriate combination therapy.

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