About our research
Epidemiological studies have revealed that the metabolic syndrome and its components obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes are associated with an increased risk for certain types of cancer. This risk connection between metabolic dysfunction and tumor development applies particularly to cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, as well as liver, kidney and breast cancer. Increased tumor incidence and/or aggressiveness is often seen in these cases.
On the flip side, we also know that different types of cancer induce a metabolic wasting syndrome which is characterized by dramatic loss of muscle and adipose (fat) tissue. This syndrome is known as cancer cachexia, and most commonly occurs in people suffering from lung, colorectal and pancreatic cancer. Aside from the negative impact of severe weight loss, patients with cancer cachexia also have a poorer response to cancer therapies. It’s estimated that around 20% of cancer deaths are directly caused by cancer cachexia. This is why there is an urgent need for new and effective treatments.
By using in-vivo models of metabolic dysfunction and cancer, as well as complementary in vitro approaches, our aim is to uncover the molecular mechanisms underlying these diseases and their complex interactions to better understand and ultimately treat them.