Cancer stem cell growth in the colon is enhanced by a high fat western diet according to new research in Stem Cell Research. It has been known that 80% of colorectal cancers are associated with poor diet but until now the mechanism was unknown. In their pre-clinical model the cancer stem cell growth in the colon, believed to be partially responsible for the spread and recurrence of cancer, was enhanced by a high-fat Western diet when researchers blocked the JAK2-STAT3 cellular signaling pathway, a pathway known to promote tumor growth, the spike in cancer stem cell growth caused by the high fat diet declined.
Researchers said “We have known the influence of diet on colorectal cancer. However, these new findings are the first to show the connection between high-fat intake and colon cancer via a specific molecular pathway.” “We can now build upon this knowledge to develop new treatments aimed at blocking this pathway and reducing the negative impact of a high-fat diet on colon cancer risk.”