Obesity and insulin resistance are associated with increased risk of cancer and cancer mortality. However, it is currently unknown whether they contribute to the development of cancer cachexia, a syndrome that contributes significantly to morbidity and mortality in individuals with cancer. The present experiment addresses the question of whether preexisting obesity and insulin resistance alter tumor growth and cancer cachexia symptoms in Yoshida sarcoma bearing male rats. Obesity and insulin resistance were induced through 5 weeks of high-fat (HF) diet feeding and insulin resistance was confirmed by intraperitoneal glucose tolerance testing. Chow-fed animals were used as a control group. Following the establishment of insulin resistance, HF-and chow-fed animals were implanted with fragments of the Yoshida sarcoma or received a sham surgery. Tumor growth rate was greater in HF-fed animals, resulting in larger tumors. In addition, cancer cachexia symptoms developed in HF-fed animals but not chow-fed animals during the 18-day experiment. These results support a stimulatory effect of obesity and insulin resistance on tumor growth and cancer cachexia development in Yoshida sarcoma-bearing rats. Future research should investigate the relationship between obesity, insulin resistance, and cancer cachexia in human subjects. © 2014
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by National Institutes of Health DK078654 (Kimberly P. Kinzig) and by the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute R25CA128770 (D. Tee-garden) Cancer Prevention Internship Program administered by the Oncological Sciences Center and the Discovery Learning Research Center at Purdue University (Mary Ann Honors).