Spanish blow to cancer

Spanish blow to cancer
Image: Pixabay

Spanish blow to cancer. Researchers in Spain have identified dietary fats that accelerate the formation of metastases.

A group of Barcelona researchers have published a new study in Nature. The research has been led by Professor Salvador Aznar-Benitah, Senior Group Leader at IRB Barcelona and ICREA research professor. Scientists have discovered that certain types of fat, such as palmitic acid can affect how cancer spreads. They found that certain fats can alter the cancer genome.

Metastasis or the spread of cancer is said to be the leading cause of death in patients suffering from cancer.


Fatty acids are essential to maintain health. However, Spanish scientists have discovered that some of these nutrients or their excess could contribute to the spread of cancer.

The researchers so far have only been carrying out studies on mice. The research is promising though. As part of the study, researchers enriched the diet of mice with palmitic acid. This led to an increased rate of metastasis. The palmitic acid also affected the cancer genome.

The effects of the nutrient carried on even when the mice had stopped eating it.

Professor Aznar-Benitah and his colleagues believe that more research is needed to provide dietary advice to patients who already have cancer and metastases. They do believe though that the study proves that a diet low in palmitic acid could be beneficial for slowing down the formation of metastases.


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Alex Glenn is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News. Formerly she worked in the NHS for 15 years until relocating to Spain in 2018. She loves the Spanish lifestyle, language and culture and spent several years learning Spanish before moving to Spain for a better quality of life. She has made her home in the mountains in Almeria, where she loves being part of a rural community that has a mix of both expats and Spanish residents. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading and exploring the area where she lives.


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