Obesity increases survival in advanced prostate cancer

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According to new research, obese patients with an advanced form of prostate cancer survive longer than overweight and normal weight patients.

The study, presented today at the congress of the European Association of Urology, UAE21, has followed more than 1500 patients for three years. Patients classified as obese (with a BMI greater than 30) had a ten percent higher survival rate than thinner patients for 36 months.

Although obesity is often associated with an increased risk of death from many cancers and others , there is some evidence in some cancers of a survival advantage for patients with a high body mass index. This phenomenon is known as the “obesity paradox.”

Nicola Fossati, Alberto Martini and colleagues at the University of San Raffaele in Italy wanted to see if the ‘obesity paradox’ was valid for patients with prostate resistant to metastatic castration —An advanced form of the disease that no longer responds to treatments to reduce testosterone.

They looked in 1,577 patients involved in three different clinical trials, with a mean age of 69 years and a mean BMI of 28. They found that BMI was a protective factor in both overall and cancer-specific survival, with 4% more than overall survival probability and 29% cancer -specific survival probability. Even when they adjusted to higher doses of chemotherapy given to older patients, the team found that the protective effect was maintained. Over 36 months, about 30% of obese patients survived compared with 20% of overweight and normal weight individuals.

Dr. Nicola Fossati, a urologist at the University of San Raffaele, says, “Looking at patients with prostate cancer metastasis, we found that they live longer. This means that BMI could be used to predict the survival of these patients.

“This paradox of obesity has been seen in some other cancers, possibly due to the relationship between tissue fats and cancer genomes, and more research is needed in this area. It is also possible that improved survival will be may be due to the interaction of chemotherapy with other medications Obese patients in this older age group usually take medications for other conditions and we do not fully understand the interconnection of these medications.

“However, we would not recommend weight gain to anyone with this or that disease. Obesity is a risk factor for many cancers and other diseases and patients should always aim for a healthy BMI of 18 to 24 years “.

Professor Peter Albers of the University of Düsseldorf, who chairs the Office of the UAE Scientific Congress, said: “There are many possible explanations for the association of body weight with a positive result in metastatic cancers. It could be that patients with a higher BMI are better able to tolerate the toxicity of treatments and their side effects, in prostate cancer it could be due to the protective impact of hormones found in tissue fat, and knows that healthy men with a slightly higher BMI have a higher overall life expectancy compared to the very thin ones.

“However, for now, these are just hypotheses. More research is needed to identify the biological mechanism behind these different outcomes. Until this mechanism is demonstrated, we cannot recommend any change in treatment for cancer patients. advanced prostate “.


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Citation: Obesity Increases Survival in Advanced Prostate Cancer (2021, July 11) Retrieved July 11, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07-obesity-survival-advanced-prostate- cancer.html

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