John Lambris, PhD, co-authors Penn Study: Low-Fat Diet Helps Genetically Predisposed Animals Avoid Liver Cancer

June 18, 2009

Penn Medicine News Release

Penn study could lead to screening methods to detect precancerous conditions and cancer prevention strategies related to obesity

In a study comparing two strains of mice, one susceptible to developing cancer and the other not, researchers found that a high-fat diet predisposed the cancer-susceptible strain to liver cancer, and that by switching to a low-fat diet early in the experiment, the same high-risk mice avoided the malignancy. The switched mice were lean rather than obese and had healthy livers at the end of the study. The investigators studied hepatocellular carcinoma, a type of liver cancer that is one of the leading causes of cancer death worldwide. Thirty percent of cases are associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and related metabolic diseases, although a direct link between these and liver cell cancer has not been completely established. “The connection between obesity and cancer is not well understood at this point,” says senior co-author John Lambris, PhD, the Dr. Ralph and Sallie Weaver Professor of Research Medicine... Read More