The Complex Biology of the Obesity-Induced, Metastasis-Promoting Tumor Microenvironment in Breast Cancer

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9 Scopus citations


Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in women contributing to cancer-related death in the advanced world. Apart from the menopausal status, the trigger for developing breast cancer may vary widely from race to lifestyle factors. Epidemiological studies refer to obesity-associated metabolic changes as a critical risk factor behind the progression of breast cancer. The plethora of signals arising due to obesity-induced changes in adipocytes present in breast tumor microenvironment, significantly affect the behavior of adjacent breast cells. Adipocytes from white adipose tissue are currently recognized as an active endocrine organ secreting different bioactive compounds. However, due to excess energy intake and increased fat accumulation, there are morphological followed by secretory changes in adipocytes, which make the breast microenvironment proinflammatory. This proinflammatory milieu not only increases the risk of breast cancer development through hormone conversion, but it also plays a role in breast cancer progression through the activation of effector proteins responsible for the biological phenomenon of metastasis. The aim of this review is to present a comprehensive picture of the complex biology of obesity-induced changes in white adipocytes and demonstrate the relationship between obesity and breast cancer progression to metastasis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2480
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022


  • Breast cancer
  • Breast tumor microenvironment
  • Invasion
  • Migration
  • Obesity
  • Proinflammation
  • White adipose tissue


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