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A study by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre has shown that receptors for the hormone, leptin, may be associated with tumour recurrence in patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC). This study provides further understanding about the molecular links between obesity and RCC tumour formation and prognosis.
The findings are being presented April 18 at the annual meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) in New Orleans.
“Obesity is an established risk factor for RCC with more than 40 percent of these cases attributed to excessive body weight,” said Xifeng Wu, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Epidemiology and principal investigator for the study. “Growing evidence suggests that obesity also may be associated with the prognosis of RCC.”
The leptin receptors, called LEPR, were found to be hypermethylated – a mechanism by which tumour cells control growth: “In addition, high LEPR methylation in tumors was associated with more advanced tumor features, such as high pathologic stage, high grade, and clear cell RCC histology,” said Wu.
The researchers add that future studies are needed to further understand the biology underlying the ties between LEPR methylation and RCC recurrence.