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Adiponectin, an adipose tissue-derived hormone, has been studied intensively for the past decade because of its anti-inflammatory, anti-atherogenic, and anti-diabetic properties. Recent advances suggest that adiponectin also plays an important role in the development and progression of various cancers, especially obesity-related cancers. In this review, the authors focus on the potential role of adiponectin in breast cancer, an obesity- and endocrine-associated tumor. Epidemiological studies have shown that plasma adiponectin level is a risk factor for breast cancer in post-menopausal women. Adiponectin and its receptors are expressed on both breast cancer line cells and tumor tissues. Furthermore, exogenous adiponectin has exhibited therapeutic potential in animal models. Underlying mechanisms include the inhibition of cell proliferation and promotion of apoptosis, the regulation of tumorigenic-related factors, and the suppression of angiogenesis. The signaling pathways linking adiponectin with tumorigenesis might provide potential drug targets for the future. However, more convincing evidence is needed to fully elucidate the exact role of adiponectin in breast cancer, since both its beneficial effects and possible mechanisms remain controversial.
Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Av. Padre Tomas Pereira S.J., Taipa, Macau, China, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Medical oncology (Northwood, London, England)
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