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The association between obesity and gastrointestinal cancer

Authors Donohoe CL, Doyle SL, Reynolds J

Received 24 March 2015

Accepted for publication 30 April 2015

Published 24 July 2015 Volume 2015:5 Pages 103—109

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/GICTT.S55843

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Eileen O'Reilly


Claire L Donohoe, Suzanne L Doyle, John V Reynolds

Department of Surgery, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, Trinity College Dublin/St James's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

Abstract: Obesity is now recognized as one of the foremost modifiable cancer risk factors. Numerous, large-scale epidemiological studies have demonstrated that there is a clear association between the risk of cancer development at a number of sites and raised body mass index. Despite an expanding body of epidemiological evidence in support of the link between obesity and cancer, the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible are poorly characterized. Adipocytes from obese subjects exhibit an altered endocrine function and secretory profile leading to an increased release of proinflammatory molecules, resulting in a chronic low-grade inflammatory state that has been linked to the development of cancer. The level of adipokine production from adipose tissue is strongly influenced by the immune cell populations present in adipose tissue. Studies of circulating adipokine measurement are prone to bias, and although animal models have indicated some areas of promise, evidence from human studies is lacking. Cross-talk between tumor cells and adjacent adipose tissue may be an important factor in the carcinogenic process.

Keywords: obesity, gastrointestinal cancer, adipokines, insulin resistance

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