A new approach being used to fight cancer may also help fight fat, U.S. researchers said on Sunday.

They said blocking a certain protein seems to literally vacuum fat off mice.


When fat mice were injected with the new “fat-zapper” every day for a month, they all slimmed down to normal weight with no visible side-effects, the researchers reported in the June issue of Nature Medicine.



But they stressed the experiment is still in the very early stages and it affects a function found in virtually all cells — meaning it has a high potential for serious side-effects.



“I am trying to un-hype this,” said Dr. Wadih Arap of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, who led the research.



In cancer, a new class of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors starve tumors by cutting off their blood supply.



Arap and colleagues have turned this approach against fat.



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