Fat Fuels the Fire in Cervical Cancer

Cancer Res. 2022 Dec 16;82(24):4513-4514. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-22-3143.


Cervical cancer is the second most common cause of cancer mortality among young women and disproportionately impacts underserved patient populations. An obesity paradox has been observed in cervical cancer wherein patients with higher body mass indices benefit more from standard-of-care chemoradiation. However, the molecular pathways through which obesity modulates treatment response are poorly defined. In exciting work in this issue of Cancer Research, Muhammad and colleagues have shown that monounsaturated and diunsaturated free fatty acids released by adipocytes activate β-oxidation within tumor cells, which potentiates radiotherapy. This work extends our understanding of the metabolic vulnerabilities of cervical cancer. See related article by Muhammad et al., p. 4515.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Body Mass Index
  • Fatty Acids* / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms* / pathology


  • Fatty Acids