Pancreatic cancer in obesity: Epidemiology, clinical observations, and basic mechanisms

Nicholas J. Zyromski, Patrick B. White

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Obesity, now a worldwide epidemic, causes myriad medical problems. One of the most significant obesity-related problems is the well-recognized relationship between obesity and various malignancies, including pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is a devastating disease - the annual death rate nearly approximates its incidence. While surgical extirpation provides the best chance at long term survival, systemic therapy is largely ineffective: even those patients undergoing successful operative resection have only approximately 20% 5-year survival. These poor outcomes are largely a consequence of poor understanding of tumor biology. Clearly, identification of novel treatment strategies is of paramount importance; investigation of pancreatic cancer biology from the novel aspect of obesity offers the potential to identify unique therapeutic targets. This manuscript reviews the epidemiology, clinical findings, and putative basic science mechanisms underlying obesity-related pancreatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)470-478
Number of pages9
JournalAnti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Adipokines
  • Adiponectin
  • B-lymphocytes
  • Leptin
  • Obesity
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Tumor immunology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

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