β-Hydroxy-β-Methylbutyrate supplementation preserves muscle mass and reduces tumor growth in obese mice

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Biological Sciences


Background: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains very challenging to treat with mean 5-year survival of approx. 6%, leading to PDAC’s status as the 4th most deadly cancer in the US. Diet induced obesity (DIO) has been shown to promote both increased incidence and growth of PDAC. Simultaneously DIO promotes muscle loss and the loss of immune surveillance in tumors. Cachexia, a chronic catabolic process in which muscle mass is lost, is a common feature of PDAC. We have previously shown that while leucine driven mTOR activation protects muscle mass in tumor bearing mice it also promotes tumor growth. Hence, we sought to test the potential of a leucine metabolite, β-hydroxy-β-methyl-butyrate, to protect against cachexia in a PDAC model while antagonizing DIO mediated tumor growth. We further sought to determine if HMB treatment would alter gemcitabine response in tumors from obese animals.

Publisher's Statement

©2019 American Association for Cancer Research. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1158/1538-7445.SABCS18-1090

Publication Title

Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2019