Pound for pound, fat contains more energy than any other nutrient. So it’s perhaps not surprising that certain cancer cells show a clear preference for growth in fatty tissues.
According to a new study by researchers at the Sloan Kettering Institute (SKI) at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK), melanomas prefer to grow near adipose (fat) tissue. The team, led by Richard White, a physician-scientist in the Cancer Biology and Genetics Program at SKI, showed that melanomas actively take in lipids if given the chance, and they tend to migrate toward tissues rich in fat cells.
“This is the seed-and-soil hypothesis,” White says. “Tumor cells like to go to places where there is fertile soil. Based on our results, we think that adipose tissue can be very fertile soil for melanoma.”