Obesity is the biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK after smoking. More than one in 20 cancer cases are caused by excess body weight, according to Cancer Research UK. Experts already suspect that fat sends signals to the body that can cause growth and damage to cells, resulting in cancer.
Now the team at Trinity have found another pathway that could explain the obesity-cancer link. Too much fat in the body can clog some of the body’s cancer-fighting cells, according to the new work published in Nature Immunology journal.
By doing tests on these ‘natural killer’ cells in their lab, the researchers were able to pinpoint the steps that led to the clogging. Armed with this knowledge, they hope to be able to find drug treatments that could restore the cancer-fighting abilities of natural killer cells.
通过在实验室中对这类 “自然杀伤” 细胞进行测试，研究人员得以准确指出造成细胞堵塞的每一个阶段。认识到了这一点以后，他们希望能找到可恢复这类自然杀伤细胞抗癌能力的药物疗法。