Leptin and cancer: From cancer stem cells to metastasis

Jiyoung Park, Philipp E. Scherer

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


There is growing evidence that obesity is a risk factor of cancer incidence and mortality. Hence, the identification of the mechanistic links between obesity and cancer progression is emerging as a topic of widespread interest. Recently, several groups have addressed the functional roles of leptin, an adipocyte-derived adipokine, for mammary tumor progression. In this issue of Endocrine-Related Cancer, Zheng et al. study the role of leptin on tumor growth in a xenograft model of MMTV-Wnt1-derived cancer cells. They study growth of these cancer cells in the context of obese animals, such as ob/ob mice (lacking leptin) and db/db mice (lacking functional leptin receptors (LEPR)) and find that leptin triggers LEPR-positive cancer stem cell differentiation, thereby promoting tumor cell survival. These findings highlight the therapeutic potential for leptin and leptin signaling in the context of mammary tumor growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C25-C29
JournalEndocrine-Related Cancer
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Oncology
  • Endocrinology
  • Cancer Research


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