The relationship between obesity and prostate cancer: from genetics to disease treatment and prevention
Department of Urology, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy
BMC Medicine 2012, 10:109 doi:10.1186/1741-7015-10-109Published: 25 September 2012
Recent studies demonstrated that obesity is associated with prostate cancer aggressiveness and prognosis. However, the mechanisms underlying this relationship are poorly understood. Tumor microenvironment has been increasingly considered as an important determinant of cancer growth and progression. In the light of this growing evidence, Ribeiro et al., in a BMC Medicine research article, investigated the gene expression profiles of periprostatic adipose tissue of obese patients with and without prostate cancer and compared them to those of lean patients. Their findings provide the first evidence of a differential gene expression in the periprostatic adipose tissue of obese individuals. Differences were also observed when comparing the periprostatic adipose tissue of patients with and without prostate cancer. Differentially expressed genes are related to cell proliferation and immunological responses. Besides suggesting the genetic bases for the observed relationship between obesity and prostate cancer aggressiveness, these findings provide new insights on the important link between local microenvironment and cancer progression.