Ghrelin and Breast Cancer: Emerging Roles in Obesity, Estrogen Regulation, and Cancer.

Lead researcher

Dr. Kristy A. Brown

Main finding

This review summarizes our current understanding of the role of the gut-derived peptide hormones, ghrelin and des-acyl ghrelin, in hormone-dependent cancers, breast cancer in particular.


Centre for Cancer Research

Research group

Metabolism and Cancer


CheukMan Cherie Au, Professor John B. Furness and Dr. Kristy A. Brown

Journal and article title

Most surprising

The ghrelin/des-acyl ghrelin-cancer axis is complex, one reason being that tumour cells have been shown to express splice variants of ghrelin, and ghrelin and des-acyl ghrelin might act at receptors other than the cognate ghrelin receptor in tumours. Effects of ghrelin and des-acyl ghrelin on energy homeostasis may also affect tumor development and growth.

Future implications

The gut-derived peptide hormones ghrelin and des-acyl ghrelin may be useful for the treatment of breast cancer with limited toxicity.

Disease/health impact

Breast cancer