Rockville, Md. (Aug. 2, 2018)–A high-fat diet may promote the growth of pancreatic cancer independent of obesity because of the interaction between dietary fat and cholecystokinin (CCK), a digestive hormone. In addition, blocking CCK may help prevent the spread of pancreatic tumors to other areas of the body (metastases). The new findings are published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology–Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology. The research was chosen as an APSselect article for August.
CCK is released by the small intestine and is associated with obesity. Dietary fat triggers the secretion of CCK; those who follow a diet high in saturated fats often have high levels of CCK. Previous research has shown that obesity and high-fat diets both together and independently increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. CCK also regulates regeneration that takes place after partial surgical removal of the pancreas. Pancreatic growth and regeneration occurs through interaction of CCK with CCK receptors, proteins that bind to CCK to produce a physiological reaction.
Researchers from Georgetown University conducted separate mouse studies involving the interactions between dietary fat, CCK and pancreatic cancer cell growth. In all studies, half the mice were fed a high-fat diet and the other
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