Potential Mechanisms Linking Insulin to Cancer

  • Yael Babichev
  • Sarah Khalid
  • I. George FantusEmail author
Part of the Energy Balance and Cancer book series (EBAC, volume 1)


The association between obesity and the incidence of various forms of cancer is well established [11, 20, 86]. Although this association is present for several cancers in both men and women, at least three primary cancers of women show this link, namely uterine, ovarian, and mammary cancers [11]. Previous chapters have reviewed the epidemiological data in detail. The focus of this chapter is to review and discuss the potential pathophysiology and biological mechanisms, which could account for this relationship. It appears unlikely that an identical and unique mechanism will explain the impact of obesity on cancer development and progression in these different tumors. Some examples of effects on different tumors have been mentioned, which support specific mechanisms [11], the focus here will be on breast cancer (BC).


Breast Cancer Insulin Resistance Breast Cancer Cell Insulin Receptor Insulin Glargine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by a Translational Acceleration Grant from the CBCRA (Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance) and CIHR (Canada Institutes for Health Research) to IGF. (Grant # 016512). SK was supported in part by CBCRA and the Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre, Mount Sinai Hospital.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yael Babichev
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sarah Khalid
    • 1
    • 3
  • I. George Fantus
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Toronto General Research InstituteUniversity Health Network and Banting and Best Diabetes CentreTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Centre for Modeling Human DiseaseSamuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai HospitalTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Departments of Medicine and PhysiologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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