Tara Sanft, MD, Yale Cancer Center, discusses VEGF as a possible link between diabetes and cancer.
VEGF promotes blood vessel formation known to play a role in breast cancer tumor formation. It is also prominent in conditions such as diabetes, which also has a link to cancer. Sanft led a study that measured VEGF levels in patients before and after implementing lifestyle changes (including diet and exercise) and found that there was a significant decrease in the growth factor after the change.
Sanft hopes to use these results, as well as future studies on a larger scale, to find out the mechanisms as to why obesity is linked to the development of breast cancer.