Calorie restricted diet prevents pancreatic inflammation and cancer

April 15, 2008

Prevention of weight gain with a restricted calorie diet sharply reduced the development of pancreatic lesions that lead to cancer in preclinical research reported today by researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting.

The research sheds light on the connection between obesity, calorie intake and pancreatic cancer by comparing a calorie restricted diet, an overweight diet and an obesity-inducing diet in a strain of mice that spontaneously develops pancreatic lesions that lead to cancer.

"Obesity is a known risk factor for pancreatic cancer, but the mechanism underlying that relationship is unknown," said senior author Stephen D. Hursting, Ph.D., professor in M. D. Anderson's Department of Carcinogenesis and Chair of the Division of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Texas. "Our findings indicate that calorie restriction hinders development of pancreatic cancer, which could have implications for prevention and treatment of pancreatic tumors caused by chronic inflammation and obesity."

The group's analysis points to a connection between calorie intake and a protein called Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF) -1, with obesity increasing and calorie restriction decreasing levels of IGF-1. IGF-1 is an important growth factor known to stimulate the growth of many types of cancer cells. Inflammatory signaling proteins also were found to be reduced in the blood of the calorie-restricted mice.

"Mice on the heavier diets had significantly more lesions and larger lesions than those on the restricted calorie diet," said first author Laura Lashinger, Ph.D., a post-doctoral fellow in Hursting's laboratory. The strain of mice, developed by Susan Fischer, professor in M. D. Anderson's Department of Carcinogenesis, spontaneously develops lesions associated with pancreatitis - inflammation of the pancreas. These lesions develop into pancreatic cancer and virtually all of these mice die within six to eight months.

The researchers fed the calorie restricted group a diet that was 30 percent lower in calories than that consumed by the overweight group and 50 percent lower than the obese group. Only 7.5 percent of mice on the calorie-restricted diet developed pancreatic lesions at the end of the experiment, and these lesions were so small that none exhibited symptoms of illness. For mice on the overweight diet, 45 percent developed lesions, as did 57.5 percent of those on the obesity-inducing diet. Lesions were also much larger in the overweight and obese mice than the calorie restricted mice.

While calorie restriction has been shown to have an anti-cancer effect in multiple species and for a variety of tumor types, its impact had not been well-studied in a model of pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death and remains mostly intractable to existing treatments.

The decline in blood levels of inflammatory proteins in the calorie restricted mice makes sense, Lashinger notes, because fat tissue is a major source of inflammatory factors such as cytokines.

Source: University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

Explore further: Teens likely to crave junk food after watching TV ads

Related Stories

Teens likely to crave junk food after watching TV ads

January 15, 2018
Teenagers who watch more than three hours of commercial TV a day are more likely to eat hundreds of extra junk food snacks, according to a report by Cancer Research UK.

Our fight with fat—why is obesity getting worse?

December 27, 2017
Gyms across the country will be packed in the new year with people sticking, however briefly, to their New Year's resolution to lose weight. Most of them do not know that the cards are stacked against them and that weight ...

High-fat/calorie diet accelerates development of pancreatic cancer

June 20, 2012
Study results presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's Pancreatic Cancer: Progress and Challenges conference, held here June 18-21, strongly suggest that a diet high in fat and calories can hasten the development ...

Study finds link between high-fat, high-calorie diet and pancreas cancer

October 1, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have found that mice made obese by high-calorie, high-fat diets develop abnormally high numbers of lesions known to be precursors to pancreas cancer.

Team discovers that a derivative of vitamin B3 prevents liver cancer in mice

November 20, 2014
Liver cancer is one of the most frequent cancers in the world, and with the worst prognosis; according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in 2012, 745,000 deaths were registered worldwide due to this cause, a figure ...

Tumors reprogram the liver, causing wasting and short-circuiting body's immune response

November 8, 2016
One of the worst cruelties of lethal cancer is the phenomenon called wasting, or in medical terms, cachexia (pronounced ka-CHEX-ia), in which a patient seems literally to diminish in bodily terms as the cancer ravages one ...

Recommended for you

T-cells engineered to outsmart tumors induce clinical responses in relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma

January 16, 2018
WASHINGTON-(Jan. 16, 2018)-Tumors have come up with ingenious strategies that enable them to evade detection and destruction by the immune system. So, a research team that includes Children's National Health System clinician-researchers ...

Researchers identify new treatment target for melanoma

January 16, 2018
Researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have identified a new therapeutic target for the treatment of melanoma. For decades, research has associated female sex and a history of previous ...

More evidence of link between severe gum disease and cancer risk

January 16, 2018
Data collected during a long-term health study provides additional evidence for a link between increased risk of cancer in individuals with advanced gum disease, according to a new collaborative study led by epidemiologists ...

Researchers develop a remote-controlled cancer immunotherapy system

January 15, 2018
A team of researchers has developed an ultrasound-based system that can non-invasively and remotely control genetic processes in live immune T cells so that they recognize and kill cancer cells.

Dietary fat, changes in fat metabolism may promote prostate cancer metastasis

January 15, 2018
Prostate tumors tend to be what scientists call "indolent" - so slow-growing and self-contained that many affected men die with prostate cancer, not of it. But for the percentage of men whose prostate tumors metastasize, ...

Pancreatic tumors may require a one-two-three punch

January 15, 2018
One of the many difficult things about pancreatic cancer is that tumors are resistant to most treatments because of their unique density and cell composition. However, in a new Wilmot Cancer Institute study, scientists discovered ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

E_L_Earnhardt
not rated yet Apr 15, 2008
Lowering calorie intake lowers energy, (heat). Mitosis requires energy. Lowering energy level of any cell group by cooling, (or reducing calorie intake) should reduce mitosis rate and, perhaps, allow cells to return to normal rate!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.