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J Nutr. 2014 Feb;144(2):109-13. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.178533. Epub 2013 Nov 27.

Interacting inflammatory and growth factor signals underlie the obesity-cancer link.

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Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Texas, Austin, TX.


The prevalence of obesity, an established risk factor for many chronic diseases (including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and several types of cancer), has risen steadily for the past several decades in the United States and many parts of the world. Today, ∼70% of U.S. adults and 30% of children are at an unhealthy weight. The evidence on key biologic mechanisms underlying the obesity-cancer link, with an emphasis on local and systemic inflammatory processes and their crosstalk with energy-sensing growth factor signaling pathways, will be discussed. Understanding the influence and underlying mechanisms of obesity on chronic inflammation and cancer will identify promising mechanistic targets and strategies for disrupting the obesity-cancer link and provide important lessons regarding the associations between obesity, inflammation, and other chronic diseases.

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