Aznar Benitah: “There is a correlation between dietary fat and the metastatic capacity of cancer”


The newspaper Heraldo de Soria.Extensa interviews Salvador Aznar Benitah, ICREA researcher at IRB Barcelona and winner of the Premio Nacional de la Fundación Científica Caja Rural de Soria.

The interview focuses on the study published in Nature in December 2016, in which the IRB Barcelona researchers discovered that the protein CD36 enhances cancer metastasis. This protein makes the tumour cell take up fatty acids. The scientists demonstrated that the inhibition of this protein causes a dramatic decrease in the metastatic capacity of certain kinds of tumour.

Furthermore, given the function of CD36 in tumour cells, the researchers also studied the effect of consuming fatty acids, such as palm oil, on metastasis in mice. The results indicate a relationship between the diet and the capacity of tumours to metastasize.

Aznar warns, “We have to be careful not to condemn a kind of oil. One thing is sure and that is that we are consuming an increasing amount of saturated fatty acids because of the type of food we are eating, above all in industrialized societies.”