Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health
Advanced age and obesity are two major risk factors for breast cancer (BC). This presents a significant public health concern as the aging population and the incidence of obesity are increasing worldwide. Obesity-related acceleration of BC growth is explained, in part, through the development of a proinflammatory tumor-adjacent mammary adipose and an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. However, the mechanisms underlying age-related BC progression remain poorly understood. We have previously demonstrated in multiple mouse models of BC that, similar to obesity, advanced age accelerates tumor progression through systemic inflammation and tumor immune suppression. Given observed inflammation and tumor immunosuppression in aged and obese mice we seek to identify interventions that will reverse these adverse effects. Herein, the purpose of this project is to test our hypothesis that intermittent calorie restriction (ICR) will reverse the adverse effects of advanced age and/or obesity on tumor burden. These findings demonstrate that ICR decreases obesity and advanced age associated mammary tumor growth as well as systemic inflammatory markers that may contribute to tumor burden. Ongoing work is investigating whether ICR improves tumor immune surveillance.