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Hormone Molecular Biology and Clinical Investigation

Editor-in-Chief: Chetrite, Gérard S.

Editorial Board Member: Alexis, Michael N. / Baniahmad, Aria / Beato, Miguel / Bouillon, Roger / Brodie, Angela / Carruba, Giuseppe / Chen, Shiuan / Cidlowski, John A. / Clarke, Robert / Coelingh Bennink, Herjan J.T. / Darbre, Philippa D. / Drouin, Jacques / Dufau, Maria L. / Edwards, Dean P. / Falany, Charles N. / Fernandez-Perez, Leandro / Ferroud, Clotilde / Feve, Bruno / Flores-Morales, Amilcar / Foster, Michelle T. / Garcia-Segura, Luis M. / Gastaldelli, Amalia / Gee, Julia M.W. / Genazzani, Andrea R. / Greene, Geoffrey L. / Groner, Bernd / Hampl, Richard / Hilakivi-Clarke, Leena / Hubalek, Michael / Iwase, Hirotaka / Jordan, V. Craig / Klocker, Helmut / Kloet, Ronald / Labrie, Fernand / Mendelson, Carole R. / Mück, Alfred O. / Nicola, Alejandro F. / O'Malley, Bert W. / Raynaud, Jean-Pierre / Ruan, Xiangyan / Russo, Jose / Saad, Farid / Sanchez, Edwin R. / Schally, Andrew V. / Schillaci, Roxana / Schindler, Adolf E. / Söderqvist, Gunnar / Speirs, Valerie / Stanczyk, Frank Z. / Starka, Luboslav / Sutter, Thomas R. / Tresguerres, Jesús A. / Wahli, Walter / Wildt, Ludwig / Yang, Kaiping / Yu, Qi

4 Issues per year

CiteScore 2016: 2.15

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.432
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.334

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Volume 23, Issue 1 (Jul 2015)


When fat becomes an ally of the enemy: adipose tissue as collaborator in human breast cancer

Lore Lapeire / Hannelore Denys / Véronique Cocquyt / Olivier De Wever
  • Corresponding author
  • Laboratory of Experimental Cancer Research, Department of Radiotherapy and Experimental Cancer Research, Ghent University Hospital, De Pintelaan 185, Building 1P7, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2015-07-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/hmbci-2015-0018


Since the discovery of leptin in 1994, our vision of adipose tissue as a static organ regulating mainly lipid storage and release has been completely overthrown, and adipose tissue is now seen as an active and integral organ in human physiology. In the past years, extensive research has tremendously given us more insights in the mechanisms and pathways involved not only in normal but also in ‘sick’ adipose tissue, for example, in obesity and lipodystrophy. With growing evidence of a link between obesity and several types of cancer, research focusing on the interaction between adipose tissue and cancer has begun to unravel the interesting but complex multi-lateral communication between the different players. With breast cancer as one of the first cancer types where a positive correlation between obesity and breast cancer incidence and prognosis in post-menopausal women was found, we have focused this review on the paracrine and endocrine role of adipose tissue in breast cancer initiation and progression. As important inter-species differences in adipose tissue occur, we mainly selected human adipose tissue- and breast cancer-based studies with a short reflection on therapeutic possibilities. This review is part of the special issue on “Adiposopathy in Cancer and (Cardio)Metabolic Diseases”.

Keywords: adipokines; adipose tissue; breast cancer; browning of adipose tissue; hormone metabolism; invasion; lipid metabolism; obesity; progression


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About the article

Corresponding author: Prof. Dr. Olivier De Wever, Laboratory of Experimental Cancer Research, Department of Radiotherapy and Experimental Cancer Research, Ghent University Hospital, De Pintelaan 185, Building 1P7, 9000 Ghent, Belgium, Phone: +32 9 332 30 73, Fax: +32 9 332 49 91, E-mail:

Received: 2015-04-20

Accepted: 2015-05-23

Published Online: 2015-07-08

Published in Print: 2015-07-01

Citation Information: Hormone Molecular Biology and Clinical Investigation, ISSN (Online) 1868-1891, ISSN (Print) 1868-1883, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/hmbci-2015-0018.

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