Yvonne C. Fierz, MD
Postdoctoral Fellow Endocrinology
Department of Endocrinology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
New York, NY
Epidemiological studies have identified type 2 diabetes as an obesity-independent risk factor for breast cancer and have linked the disease to higher mortality rates. We are using a unique non-obese mouse model of type 2 diabetes in combination with several mammary tumor induction methods to investigate the mechanisms linking the two diseases. Our studies showed that hyperinsulinemia is predominantly responsible for increased mammary tumor progression in type 2 diabetes. Moreover, we found that insulin sensitizing therapy as well as pharmacological mTOR inhibition abrogate the effect of type 2 diabetes on mammary tumor progression and may therefore be promising treatment strategies for patients with breast cancer and type 2 diabetes.