diet-induced obesity

A recently published study assesses the effect of diet-induced obesity on the progression of melanoma, a skin tumour with the potential of leading to skin cancer, and on the efficacy of dacarbazine in treating such tumours.


Treatment of cancer has been a consistent challenge for medical and healthcare professionals. Chemotherapy is a commonly accepted treatment method for tumours and cancerous cells, where synthesized drugs are used to eliminate cancerous cells. One of the drugs used to treat melanoma, a tumour associated with the skin, is dacarbazine. Since the location of the tumour is in close proximity to adipose tissue, dacarbazine therapy has the potential to be affected by diet-induced obesity. A study published by BioMed Central discusses the impact of obesity on the efficiency of dacarbazine therapy and general progression of melanoma.

The study was conducted on a sample of mice who were fed a high-fat diet to induce obesity through the diet. A control group of mice with maintenance of a normal diet was also included. Melanoma cells were cultured in the serum obtained from the mice and in a medium extracted from differentiated adipocytes. The melanoma was then treated with dacarbazine therapy for a five-day period. The amount of dacarbazine required was measured and recorded.

Experimental outcomes indicated that diet-induced obesity in the mice had a significant impact on the results of dacarbazine therapy. The overall survival rate in mice with diet-induced obesity and melanoma was evidently lower when compared to the normal-diet mice control group. It was also determined that melanoma cells developed drug resistance when cultured in serum from the obese mice and the medium from specific adipocytes. When diet interventions were introduced in the obese mice, the response to dacarbazine therapy had visibly improved. Results concluded that diet-induced obesity does hinder the process of dacarbazine treatment, and allows further development of melanoma.

The highly valuable results of this study enable medical and healthcare professionals, specifically doctors and nutritionists, to combine various aspects of human biology to provide the most efficient health care treatment for their patients. The study encourages doctors to analyze diet as a factor affecting treatment of specific cancers. In recommending an improved diet, doctors will be able to eliminate a potential obstacle in treating melanoma, rendering chemotherapy as significantly more effective than before.


Written By: Shrishti Ahuja, BSc

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