Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Cancer biology: Weighted cancer risk

Cell 140, 197–208 (2010)

Obesity is a contributor to cancer. Work in mice now reveals the mechanism by which obesity enhances inflammation and tumour growth in the liver.

Michael Karin and his co-workers at the University of California, San Diego, found that both mice eating a high-fat diet and those genetically engineered to be obese had higher incidences of liver cancer and had larger and more numerous tumours than normal mice when given a known carcinogen.

Obese animals had higher levels of activated STAT3, a known cancer-promoting protein. Obese mice also had elevated levels of IL-6, an immune-modulating and tumour-promoting protein, and TNF, a proinflammatory protein. The team found that both IL-6 and TNF, which activate STAT3, are required for obese mice to develop inflamed livers, which are at greater risk of becoming cancerous.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Cancer biology: Weighted cancer risk. Nature 463, 405 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1038/463405d

Download citation

Search

Quick links