The amount of fat we eat is directly linked to cancer's ability to spread around the body, that's according to scientists in Spain.
Researchers say studies in mice showed a specific protein called CD36 absorbs fat from the cell membrane and is the agent that determines whether the cancer grows elsewhere in the body. Blocking that protein in mice prevented the cancer from spreading. They're now moving on to trials on human patients.
"We are taking a group of patients with oral cancer and we are testing in some of them what happens if you feed them with a diet of very low levels of palmitic acid versus another equally big group of patients that will be fed with a controlled diet, not with a high content of fat but a standard amount of fat and then we will have to compare," said Salvador Aznar Benitah, a researcher at the Institute of Research in Biomedicine.
The group says the study is just one more step in understanding how cancer works; they believe this is an important step. The group is now working to develop treatments based on their research. If they're successful, they could have a patient-friendly product within the next five years.
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