Crown-like structures (CLS), composed of macrophages surrounding dead or dying adipocytes, are a histologic hallmark of the proinflammatory process by which adipose tissue contributes to the increased risk and worse prognosis of breast cancer in obese, postmenopausal patients. In this issue of Cancer Prevention Research, Iyengar and colleagues report the intriguing finding that CLS can be identified in a significant proportion of normal-BMI women undergoing mastectomy for breast cancer risk reduction or therapy. This surprising observation suggests that some normal weight women may have similar mechanisms driving initiation and/or progression of breast cancer as those contributing to the increased incidence and worse prognosis of breast cancer in obese postmenopausal women. The possibility of a common mechanism in both lean and obese women provides added impetus to more fully define this process and evaluate its important implications for prevention and screening strategies as well as therapeutic interventions. Cancer Prev Res; 10(4); 1–3. ©2017 AACR.
See related article by Iyengar et al., p. 235–43
- Received March 3, 2017.
- Revision received March 3, 2017.
- Accepted March 3, 2017.
- ©2017 American Association for Cancer Research.