About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Cholesterol By-product Involved in Breast Cancer Metastasis

by Anjali Aryamvally on October 13, 2017 at 11:33 AM
Font : A-A+

Cholesterol By-product Involved in Breast Cancer Metastasis

While high cholesterol levels have been associated with malignancy of breast cancer, the cause for the link wasn't known, until now. A by-product of cholesterol metabolism that acts on specific immune cells facilitate the spread of cancer, shows study by a team at University of Illinois.

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, identifies new potential drug targets that could inhibit the creation or actions of the dangerous cholesterol by-product, a molecule called 27HC.

Advertisement


"Breast cancer impacts roughly 1 in 8 women. We've developed fairly good strategies for the initial treatment of the disease, but many women will experience metastatic breast cancer, when the breast cancer has spread to other organs, and at that point we really don't have effective therapies. We want to find what drives that process and whether we can target that with drugs," said Erik Nelson, a professor of molecular and integrative physiology who led the study.

27HC: A dangerous cholesterol by-product

Nelson's group fed mice with breast cancer tumors a diet high in cholesterol. The researchers confirmed that high levels of cholesterol increased tumor growth and metastasis, and that mice treated with cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins had less metastasis. Then they went further, specifically inhibiting the enzyme that makes 27HC during cholesterol metabolism.
Advertisement

"By inhibiting the enzyme that makes 27HC, we found a suppressor effect on breast cancer metastasis. This suggests that a drug treatment targeting this enzyme could be an effective therapeutic," said Amy Baek, a postdoctoral researcher at Illinois and the first author of the paper.

The researchers also saw unusual activity among specific immune cells - certain types of neutrophils and T-cells - at metastatic sites high in 27HC.

"Normally, your body's immune system has the capacity to attack cancer," Nelson said, "but we found that 27HC works on immune cells to fool them into thinking the cancer is fine. It's hijacking the immune system to help the cancer spread."

See a video of Nelson describing the study on YouTube.

Because 27HC acts through the immune system, and not on the breast cancer itself, the researchers believe their findings have broad applicability for solid tumors. They performed experiments looking at colon cancer, lung cancer, melanoma and pancreatic cancer, and found that 27HC increased metastasis for all the tumor types, suggesting that a treatment targeting 27HC could be effective across multiple cancer types.

The researchers are working to further understand the pathway by which 27HC affects the immune cells. With clinical partners at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, the team is working to establish whether 27HC has the same pathway in human patients as in mice.

"We hope to develop small-molecule drugs to inhibit 27HC," Nelson said. "In the meantime, there are good cholesterol-lowering drugs available on the market: statins. Cancer patients at risk for high cholesterol might want to talk to their doctors about it."



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Turmeric: Magic Ingredient to Keep you Healthy in Winter
Top 7 Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene
Healthy and Safer Thanksgiving 2021
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Women and Cancer Cholesterol High Cholesterol Breast Biopsy Pagets disease of the breast Mastitis Cancer and Homeopathy Heart Attack Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease Body Mass Index 

Recommended Reading
Breast Cancer Screening using Mammogram
Breast cancer if detected early can be completely cured. Mammography is used to screen women for ......
Inflammatory Breast Cancer
One of the rare breast cancers, inflammatory breast cancer is marked by redness, swelling and ......
Consumption of Red Meat Increases Breast Cancer Risk
Red meat consumption has long been suspected of contributing to cancer development. Find out how ......
Inherited Breast Cancer Syndromes
Inherited breast cancers are caused due to mutations in genes that increase the risk of breast ......
Body Mass Index
Body mass index (BMI) is a simple tool that is generally used to estimate the total amount of body f...
Breast Biopsy
Breast biopsy involves removing a sample of breast tissue to determine whether it is cancerous or .....
Cholesterol
Cholesterol is produced by the body (liver) and is essential for normal body functioning....
Heart Attack
Heart attack is the death of the heart muscle due to loss of blood supply. Heart disease is the lead...
High Cholesterol
High cholesterol level in blood are a risk for heart disease and stroke. They get deposited in the w...
Mastitis
Mastitis is a common cause of tenderness, swelling and pain in breast, owing to inflammation in the ...
Pagets disease of the breast
A detailed description of the Paget's disease of the breast, characteristic signs and symptoms, dete...
Women and Cancer
Cancer is one of the frequently talked about and most feared disease that falls under the genre of l...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use