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Issue 137 Autumn 2020

Endocrinologist > Autumn 2020 > Hot topics

High fat diet in pregnancy and mammary cancer recurrence in offspring

| Hot topics

Maternal obesity can affect the health of offspring and is associated with increased risk of metabolic disorders. Because it is linked to high birth weight, it may also increase a daughter’s breast cancer risk and increase breast cancer mortality.

Zhang and colleagues used rodent models of premenopausal breast cancer to investigate whether maternal obesity could affect a female offspring’s response to tamoxifen treatment and risk of recurrence after tamoxifen administration. They found that maternal exposure to an obesogenic high fat diet during pregnancy could programme an offspring’s mammary glands to develop carcinogen- initiated mammary tumours at a younger age. Maternal high fat diet during pregnancy was also associated with an increase in allografted mammary tumour burden compared with control diet, and an increased risk of mammary cancer recurrence after tamoxifen administration. These responses were associated with an impaired tumour immune response characterised by altered T cell function.
These findings suggest that maternal high fat diet in pregnancy increases offspring susceptibility to mammary tumour growth, cancer recurrence and suppression of tumour immune responses.

Read the full article in Endocrine-Related Cancer 27 469–482


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