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Obesity and diabetes have adverse effects on cancer outcomes
Date:3/20/2014

t on the outcome after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Diabetes has been reported in 15%-20% of elderly breast cancer patients, although in the group of just over 4,000 patients studied it was considerably lower. "This was probably because these patients were enrolled in clinical trials and were therefore selected to be in good physical condition without other illnesses that could complicate procedures and outcomes," Dr Fontanella will say.

"However, we did find that patients with diabetes were more likely to have their cancer diagnosed at a more advanced stage, and this suggests that diabetes may affect the size of the tumour. We also found that patients with diabetes had worse distant disease free survival rates."

Diabetes is currently believed to be associated with a 49% increased risk of death from all causes in breast cancer patients, as well as being an independent prognostic factor for the risk of recurrence and metastasis. Increased insulin levels seem to be related to a high risk of recurrence after primary treatment, and an increase in C-peptide [2] levels has been associated with an increased risk of cancer-related deaths, particularly in hormone receptor-positive tumours.

"We think that hyperinsulinemia where there are increased levels of insulin circulating in the blood may encourage the growth of tumour cells by providing them with large amounts of glucose. We therefore believe that strict control of blood sugar levels is essential to the successful treatment of breast cancer," she will conclude.

Professor David Cameron, from the University of Edinburgh (Edinburgh, UK), who is a member of the EBCC-9 executive scientific committee, commented: "The growing epidemic of obesity needs to be given greater attention as a risk factor for developing breast cancer, and in how we treat patients in routine practice. The data presented by Dr Fontanella are important as they challenge not only the concept of 'chemotherapy dose capping' but also high
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Contact: Mary Rice
mary.rice@riceconseil.eu
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Source:Eurekalert

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