Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brown fat found to be at the root of cancer-related wasting syndrome

Date:
July 17, 2014
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
Many patients with advanced stages of cancer, AIDS, tuberculosis, and other diseases die from a condition called cachexia, which is characterized as a 'wasting' syndrome that causes extreme thinness with muscle weakness. Cachexia is the direct cause of roughly 20 percent of deaths in cancer patients. While boosting food intake doesn't help, and no effective therapies are available, new research points to a promising strategy that may stimulate weight gain and muscle strength.

Many patients with advanced stages of cancer, AIDS, tuberculosis, and other diseases die from a condition called cachexia, which is characterized as a "wasting" syndrome that causes extreme thinness with muscle weakness. Cachexia is the direct cause of roughly 20% of deaths in cancer patients. While boosting food intake doesn't help, and no effective therapies are available, new research in the Cell Press journal Cell Metabolism points to a promising strategy that may stimulate weight gain and muscle strength.

The research relates to a process that has been gaining considerable attention as a way to combat obesity: the browning of white fat. While white fat normally stores calories, brown fat burns them and generates heat in the process. Therefore, efforts to turn white fat into brown fat may help people lose weight.

Erwin Wagner, of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre in Madrid, and his colleagues found that in mice and patients with cancer-associated cachexia, white fat undergoes significant changes and turns into calorie-burning brown fat. The transformation leads to increased energy consumption and organ wasting.

The team also discovered that inflammation plays an important role in turning white fat into brown fat during cancer-associated cachexia, which suggests a potential therapeutic target. Indeed, anti-inflammatory therapies, including the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) Sulindac, ameliorated the severity of cachexia in mice.

"Our data suggest that inhibition of the browning of white fat represents a promising approach to ameliorate the severity of cachexia in cancer patients," says Dr. Wagner. "In addition, identifying biomarkers of browning at early stages of cancer development could help to predict which patients are going to develop cachexia and are good candidates to benefit from a preventive treatment."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michele Petruzzelli, Martina Schweiger, Renate Schreiber, Ramon Campos-Olivas, Maria Tsoli, John Allen, Michael Swarbrick, Stefan Rose-John, Mercedes Rincon, Graham Robertson, Rudolf Zechner, ErwinF. Wagner. A Switch from White to Brown Fat Increases Energy Expenditure in Cancer-Associated Cachexia. Cell Metabolism, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2014.06.011

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Brown fat found to be at the root of cancer-related wasting syndrome." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140717124838.htm>.
Cell Press. (2014, July 17). Brown fat found to be at the root of cancer-related wasting syndrome. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140717124838.htm
Cell Press. "Brown fat found to be at the root of cancer-related wasting syndrome." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140717124838.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins