Who says we have to suffer...to live a healthy happy vibrant life?

Red wine and dark chocolate... might seem decadent...but these guilty pleasures also might help us live longer...and healthier lives. Red wine and dark chocolate definitely improve an evening..but they also contain resveratrol..which lowers blood sugar. Red wine is a great source of catechins..which boost protective HDL cholesterol. Green tea? Protects your brain..helps you live longer..and soothes your spirit.

Food for Thought, the blog, is about living the good life...a life we create with our thoughts and our choices...and having fun the whole while!

I say lets make the thoughts good ones..and let the choices be healthy...exciting...and delicious! Bon Appetit!

Monday, December 12, 2016

High Fat Diet Fuels Cancer's Spread in Mice.

The cells responsible for the spread of cancer and for most deaths from cancer — may have a fatal weakness according to studies in mice: a reliance on certain fats to fuel their invasion.
It is a difficult and hazardous undertaking for a cancer cell to uproot itself, travel through the bloodstream and take hold in an entirely different part of the body. (Non-cancerous cells are often programmed to self-destruct if they leave the tissue they live in.) Researchers have long struggled to understand which cancer cells can manage the feat, and how they do so.

But a study published on 7 December in Nature has identified a population of oral tumor cells that are able to make the journey in mice, and has found that such cells may feast on fats to fuel the trip. Determining how certain cancer cells spread throughout the body — a process called metastasis — is a big step forward, says Xiang Zhang, a cancer researcher at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, who was not involved in the study. “Now people have a suspect they can follow.”
To find that suspect, Salvador Aznar Benitah of the Institute for Research in Biomedicine at the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology in Spain and his colleagues looked among oral-cancer cells for those that could seed tumors. Within that population of cells, the team found some that expressed high levels of a molecule called CD36, which helps cells to take up lipids from their environment.

Stopping the spread
Benitah and his team found that high CD36 expression was required for metastasis in mice. Antibodies that blocked CD36 — and eliminated its interaction with fatty acids — completely inhibited metastasis, although they did not affect the development of primary tumors.  

The researchers also mined public databases and found that high expression of CD36 correlated with poor medical outcomes in bladder, lung, breast and other cancers in people.
Benitah’s team is now working to develop antibodies against CD36 that could be used in clinical trials, although he estimates it would take at least another four years to reach that milestone. Benitah notes that such a therapy may be effective even after cancer has started to spread: in mice, experimental antibodies eradicated metastatic tumors 15% of the time. The remaining metastatic tumors shrunk by at least 80%.

The team is also looking at the implications of another finding: feeding the mice a high-fat diet led to more and larger tumors in the lymph nodes and lungs — a sign of metastasis — compared with mice on normal diets.
They went on to test a specific saturated fatty acid called palmitic acid -- a major component of animal and vegetable fats and present at high levels in palm oil which is used in many house hold products from peanut butter and processed food to toothpaste. The researchers treated human oral tumours with palmitic acid for two days then injected them into mice fed a standard diet. The team observed that all the mice with CD36 developed cancer spread compared to only half when not treated with palmitic acid.

Benitah’s team is now carrying out a study that aims to enroll 1,000 people with cancer, profiling lipids in their blood to look for any links to the spread of cancer cells.

Journal Reference:

Gloria Pascual, Alexandra Avgustinova, Stefania Mejetta, Mercè Martín, Andrés Castellanos, Camille Stephan-Otto Attolini, Antoni Berenguer, Neus Prats, Agustí Toll, Juan Antonio Hueto, Coro Bescós, Luciano Di Croce, Salvador Aznar Benitah. Targeting metastasis-initiating cells through the fatty acid receptor CD36. Nature, 2016

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