Obesity hormone leptin: a new target in breast cancer?

Breast Cancer Res. 2007;9(1):301. doi: 10.1186/bcr1638.


Leptin is a multifunctional hormone produced mainly by the adipose tissue and involved in the regulation of food intake and energy balance. In addition, leptin can stimulate mitogenic and angiogenic processes in peripheral organs. Because leptin levels are elevated in obese individuals and excess body weight has been shown to increase breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women, attempts have been made to evaluate whether leptin can promote breast cancer. Data obtained in cell and animal models and analyses of human breast cancer biopsies indeed suggest such an involvement. Furthermore, a recent report clearly shows that targeting leptin signaling may reduce mammary carcinogenesis. Thus, leptin should become a new attractive target in breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leptin / physiology*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic
  • Signal Transduction


  • Leptin