Breast Cancer Preventative Targets of Botanicals for Obese Menopausal Women

Project: Research project

Project Details


Obese menopausal women are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer. The increased risk could be associated with excessive estrogen production in fat tissue (fibroblast cells) surrounding breast cells. Therefore, disrupting estrogen biosynthesis machinery could protect these women from breast cancer. Many of these obese women who reach the age of menopause use botanical dietary supplements to relieve menopausal symptoms. Many biological effects such as activation of protective enzymes, blocking estrogen production and carcinogenesis pathways, and anti-inflammatory effects have been reported for botanicals. However, their role in protecting women from breast cancer by simultaneous targeting these key pathways in fat tissue and breast cells have not been explored. We hypothesize that botanicals/active compounds protect obese menopausal women from breast cancer by simultaneously lowering estrogen production in the fat tissue surrounding breast cells and decreasing inflammation in the breast. We will test our hypothesis through the following specific aims: Aim 1) Botanicals/compounds interact with targets in the fat tissue (fibroblasts) and inhibit estrogen production. Fat cells (fibroblasts) will be treated with botanicals and the enzymes and mechanisms involved in high estrogen production will be evaluated. Aim 2) Botanicals/active compounds disrupt communications between breast cells and fat tissue by blocking inflammation in breast cells. Fat cells (fibroblasts) and breast cells will be grown together and treated with botanicals/compounds. The markers of inflammation in breast cells and the markers of estrogen production in fat cells will be measured. Proliferation of breast cells will be evaluated as well. Aim 3) Botanicals block breast tumor formation in animal models. Genetically modified mice which develop breast tumors with and without high fat diet will be treated with botanicals. The effect of diet and botanicals on tumor formation, the estrogen productio
Effective start/end date10/1/193/30/22


  • American Cancer Society (PF-18-049-01-NEC)


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