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Cancer Res. 2015 May 15;75(10):1925-9. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-15-0169. Epub 2015 Apr 28.

Advanced glycation end-products: a biological consequence of lifestyle contributing to cancer disparity.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina.


Low income, poor diet, obesity, and a lack of exercise are interrelated lifestyle factors that can profoundly alter our biologic make up to increase cancer risk, growth, and development. We recently reported a potential mechanistic link between carbohydrate-derived metabolites and cancer, which may provide a biologic consequence of lifestyle that can directly affect tumor biology. Advanced glycation end-products (AGE) are reactive metabolites produced as a by-product of sugar metabolism. Failure to remove these highly reactive metabolites can lead to protein damage, aberrant cell signaling, increased stress responses, and decreased genetic fidelity. Critically, AGE accumulation is also directly affected by our lifestyle choices and shows a race-specific, tumor-dependent pattern of accumulation in cancer patients. This review will discuss the contribution of AGEs to the cancer phenotype, with a particular emphasis on their biologic links with the socioeconomic and environmental risk factors that drive cancer disparity. Given the potential benefits of lifestyle changes and the potential biologic role of AGEs in promoting cancer, opportunities exist for collaborations affecting basic, translational, epidemiologic, and cancer prevention initiatives.

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