PPAR trilogy from metabolism to cancer

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Purpose of review

This review highlights recent advances related to malignancies in the field of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs). It also discusses the implications of cancer research and therapy.

Recent findings

In the last few years, genetic evidence has implicated the PPARs, specifically PPARγ and PPARβ/δ, in tumorigenesis. Also, new insights into the regulation of the nuclear hormone receptors have emerged.


Exciting research in PPAR biology has established these nuclear factors as key regulators of metabolism and energy homeostasis. Evidence indicates that PPARs can also affect the pathogenesis and development of tumors. However, the type of effects observed thus far appears to depend on the experimental context. As a result, the findings are generating much debate, as PPAR agonists are widespread targets in the treatment of metabolic disorders such as diabetes and dyslipidemia. Here, we summarize the most recent advances in this field, outline the conflicting reports and discuss their overall implications in cancer research.

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