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Dr. D. F. Quail - Obesity and cancer progression: Adding fuel to the fire

Daniela F. Quail

Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Institute, Departments of Physiology and Medicine
McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada

Obesity and cancer progression: Adding fuel to the fire

Obesity is estimated to be responsible for up to ~20% of all cancer-related deaths, competing with smoking tobacco as the leading preventable risk factor for cancer mortality. We have shown that obesity promotes breast cancer progression through its ability to shape the myeloid landscape both systemically and within metastatic sites1-3. Through mouse models and imaging mass cytometry on patient lung metastasis samples, we have discovered that obesity-associated metastasis is dependent on the activation of inflammatory neutrophils, which weaken the vascular endothelium to enable metastatic transmigration4. Given that up to ~30% of adults in North America are obese, our work has unveiled several therapeutic opportunities that may be relevant to a substantial patient population.  

Selected References

1    Olson OC, Quail DF & Joyce JA. Obesity and the tumor microenvironment. Science 358, 1130-1131 (2017)
2    Quail DF, Olson OC, et al. Obesity alters the lung myeloid cell landscape to enhance breast cancer metastasis through IL5 and GM-CSF. Nat Cell Biol 19, 974-987 (2017)
3    Quail DF & Dannenberg AJ. The obese adipose tissue microenvironment in cancer development and progression. Nat Rev Endocrinol 15, 139-154 (2019)
4    McDowell SAC, et al. Neutrophil oxidative stress mediates obesity-associated vascular dysfunction and metastatic transmigration. Nat Cancer 2, 545-562 (2021)


Contact: Catherine Muller (

Link to attend the seminar

28 Jun

15:00 - 16:00

Online seminar