LeRoith, Derek , PhD
Diabetes and cancer-related mortality; Is endogenous hyperinsulinemia a culprit?
General Research Subject: Both Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes
Focus: Complications, Insulin Action\Insulin Resistance, Other
Type of Grant: Basic Science
Project Start Date: January 1, 2013
Project End Date: December 31, 2015
There is now a large body of evidence that convincingly shows that patients with type 2 diabetes are more prone to developing certain cancers and are more likely to die from the their cancer than those without diabetes. The reason(s) for this association is not fully understood, but establishing the exact causes will allow researchers to develop new treatment that will appropriately treat cancer in those with diabetes. It is known that patients with breast cancer that has spread to other organs, such as the lungs, are more likely to die from their cancer than those who have breast cancer confined to the breast. Patients with type 2 diabetes are more likely to have breast cancer that has spread to other organs; therefore, it is crucial to understand why this is the case.
We have developed a female mouse model that simulates the early stages of human type 2 diabetes. These female mice have high insulin levels in their blood, which also occurs commonly in people with type 2 diabetes. Therefore, these female mice are useful for studying the effect of insulin on breast cancer. Our previous research has shown that insulin enhances breast cancer growth in these mice and now we wish to study whether insulin affects the spread of cancer cells to the lungs, since cancer-related deaths are usually due to metastases.
The results of our studies should enable researchers to develop appropriate therapies for the cancers that occur in obese individuals and patients with type 2 diabetes.
What area of diabetes research does your project cover? What role will this particular project play in preventing, treating and curing diabetes?
My project covers the relationship between Type 2 diabetes and the increased risk of developing cancer. The project goal is to understand the connection and to find ways of preventing and/or treating the cancer more appropriately.
If a person with diabetes were to ask you how your project will help them in the future, how would you respond?
My poroject will attempt understand why diabetics are more prone to cancer and what can we do to prevent or treat this condition
Why is it important for you, personally, to become involved in diabetes research? What role will this award play in your efforts?
This ADA funding support is important in my ongoing research in the topic of diabetes and cancer. I have researched diabetes for 30 years and hope now to make an important contribution in regard to the cancer link.
In what direction do you see the future of diabetes research going?
Similar to that of the past few years: better understanding of the basic problems and how to make life better for patients
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