Obesity and cancer pathogenesis

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2014 Apr;1311:57-76. doi: 10.1111/nyas.12416.


Overweight and obesity have reached pandemic levels on a worldwide basis and are associated with increased risk and worse prognosis for many but not all malignancies. Pathophysiologic processes that affect this association are reviewed, with a focus on the relationship between type 2 diabetes mellitus and cancer, lessons learned from the use of murine models to study the association, the impact of obesity on pancreatic cancer, the effects of dietary fats and cholesterol on cancer promotion, and the mechanisms by which the intestinal microbiome affects obesity and cancer.

Keywords: cancer and obesity; cholesterol; diabetes; dietary fats; intestinal microbiome; murine models; pancreatic cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / pathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Dietary Fats
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors


  • Dietary Fats