An altered gut microbiota may promote cancer by driving inflammatory responses; it also plays an important role in obesity, a risk factor for pancreatic cancer

In December 2018 researchers from the USA published their review on the risk factors associated with pancreatic cancer. Recent studies have revealed that obesity and pancreatic cancer are strongly associated. For instance, a body mass index greater than 35 is one of the risk factors for pancreatic cancer in both men and women. Individuals with abdominal obesity have a 50% increased risk of pancreatic cancer development compared to lean individuals. In the US about 70% of the adult population is overweight and has a two-fold increased risk of pancreatic cancer incidence and mortality. The gut microbiome plays an important role in obesity and other metabolic disorders. Recent evidence suggests that diet, environmental factors and microbial components can contribute to the development of cancer in the liver and pancreas through a gut-liver/pancreas axis. A high-fat diet, for example, can alter the gut microbiome and trigger an inflammatory cascade, which can lead to pancreatic cancer cell proliferation.  An altered gut microbiota, therefore, may promote cancer by driving inflammatory responses.

Pothuraju R et al. Pancreatic cancer associated with obesity and diabetes: an alternative approach for its targeting. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2018 Dec 19;37(1):319 

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