Overweight or obese women who lost weight through diet or a combination of diet and exercise also significantly lowered levels of proteins in the blood that help certain tumors grow, according to a Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center study published July 14 in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
Two study leaders -- Dr. Catherine Duggan, principal staff scientist in the Public Health Sciences Division, and Dr. Anne McTiernan, cancer prevention researcher in the Public Health Sciences Division and the article's senior author -- are available to provide details on the study and its implications.
The authors said that it is known that being overweight and having a sedentary lifestyle are associated with increased risk for developing certain cancers, but the reasons for this relationship are not clear.
This study shows that weight loss may be a safe and effective way to improve the "angiogenic profile" of healthy individuals, meaning they would have lower blood levels of cancer-promoting proteins. Although the researchers cannot say for certain that this would impact the growth of tumors, they believe there could be an association between reduced protein levels and a less favorable environment for tumor growth.
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