Adipose tissue cells, lipotransfer and cancer: a challenge for scientists, oncologists and surgeons

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012 Aug;1826(1):209-14. doi: 10.1016/j.bbcan.2012.04.004. Epub 2012 Apr 21.


Despite recent evidence of the cancer-promoting role of adipose tissue-derived progenitor and differentiated cells, the use of lipotransfer for tissue/organ reconstruction after surgical removal of cancer is increasing worldwide. Here we discuss in a multidisciplinary fashion the preclinical data connecting obesity, adipose cells and cancer progression, as well as the clinical data concerning safety of lipotransfer procedures in cancer patients. A roadmap towards a more rationale use of lipotransfer in oncology is urgently needed and should include preclinical studies to dissect the roles of different adipose tissue-derived cells, the evaluation of drugs currently candidate to inhibit the interaction between adipose and tumor cells, and carefully designed clinical trials to investigate the safety of lipotransfer procedures in cancer patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / cytology
  • Adipocytes / pathology*
  • Adipose Tissue / cytology
  • Adipose Tissue / pathology*
  • Adipose Tissue / transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Neoplasms / surgery
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures / methods