There is growing evidence that obesity is a risk factor of cancer incidence and mortality. Hence, the identification of the mechanistic links between obesity and cancer progression is emerging as a topic of widespread interest. Recently, several groups have addressed the functional roles of leptin, an adipocyte-derived adipokine, for mammary tumor progression. In this issue of Endocrine-Related Cancer, Zheng et al. study the role of leptin on tumor growth in a xenograft model of MMTV-Wnt1-derived cancer cells. They study growth of these cancer cells in the context of obese animals, such as ob/ob mice (lacking leptin) and db/db mice (lacking functional leptin receptors (LEPR)) and find that leptin triggers LEPR-positive cancer stem cell differentiation, thereby promoting tumor cell survival. These findings highlight the therapeutic potential for leptin and leptin signaling in the context of mammary tumor growth.