Autologous Fat Grafting for Oncologic Patients: A Literature Review

Allison J. Seitz, Malke Asaad, Summer E. Hanson, Charles E. Butler, Rene D. Largo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Autologous fat grafting (AFG) serves as an effective method to address volume defects, contour irregularities, and asymmetry in both aesthetic and reconstructive procedures. In recent years, there has been growing concern about the potential of cancer recurrence and interference with cancer surveillance in oncologic patients receiving AFG. The adipose tissue contains adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs), a specific type of mesenchymal stem cells, that facilitate secretion of numerous growth factors which in turn stimulate tissue regeneration and angiogenesis. As such, it has been theorized that ASCs may also have the potential to stimulate cancer cell proliferation and growth when used in oncologic patients. Multiple research studies have demonstrated the ability of ACSs to facilitate tumor proliferation in animal models. However, clinical research in oncologic patients has yielded contradictory findings. Although the literature pertaining to oncologic safety in head and neck, as well as sarcoma, cancer patients remains limited, studies demonstrate no increased risk of tumor recurrence in these patient populations receiving AFG. Similarly, both the efficacy and safety of AFG have been well established in breast cancer patients through numerous clinical studies. More recently, preclinical research in animal models has shown that AFG has the potential to facilitate tissue regeneration and improve joint contracture following irradiation. Ultimately, further research is needed to elucidate the safety of AFG in a variety of oncologic patients, as well as explore its use in tissue regeneration, particularly in the setting of radiotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S61-S68
JournalAesthetic surgery journal
Issue numberSuppl 1
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021


  • Adipose Tissue
  • Breast Neoplasms/surgery
  • Humans
  • Mammaplasty
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Transplantation, Autologous

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Autologous Fat Grafting for Oncologic Patients: A Literature Review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this