Experts from the University of California in Davis (UC Davis) found that there are cases in which obesity can help the body fight tumor formations
The results of the scientists' work were published in the journal "Nature Medicine".
Obesity is considered a risk factor for oncology - the tumor feeds more actively, develops faster and has an increased ability to recover. At the same time, previous experiments showed that in this case immunostimulating therapy causes an overload of the immune system and contributes to the appearance of side effects.
The tumor is capable of provoking the release of PD-1 proteins that prevent T-lymphocytes from attacking infected cells, but this process can be stopped using inhibitory signaling pathway blockers.
Scientists used a rare type of immunotherapy in obese mice and monkeys and noticed that a "cancer-suppressing" protein was secreted more actively, regardless of the type of cancer. It was found that the survival rate in obesity was higher.
A test therapy involving 251 melanoma patients also showed improvements in the clinical picture in the presence of obesity.
"Taken together, these results suggest that obesity may be an important biomarker for response to this type of immunotherapy. We do not claim that obesity may confer an improved prognosis to oncology patients, but obesity appears to reduce the suppressive effect of the immune system and the acceleration of tumor growth," noted a participant in the experiment, associate professor in the office of radiation oncology, Art Monyazeb.
Scientists note that the paradoxical results of the study may allow doctors to create a personalized type of therapy for patients based on body mass index.