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Link between Obesity and Post-Radiotherapy Outcome in Prostate Cancer Patients

A new study with obese men having prostrate cancer finds a close link between the failure of radiation therapy and increased body mass index (BMI). //

Obese people are at a higher risk for developing failures in clinical, biochemical and radiation therapy – a new study published in a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society says.

Evidence has increasingly shown that obesity has a deleterious effect on the human body, from the risk of diabetes to joint disease. Obesity has more recently been shown to play a significant role in the development of some cancers, including cancers of the breast, prostate, colon, and many others. Obesity has also been associated with the progression of disease. Obese men with prostate cancer often have more aggressive disease and higher mortality rates. Researchers postulate that fat tissue influences concentrations of various significant signaling molecules, such as testosterone, estrogen, insulin and insulin-like growth factor, which play a role in prostate cancer development and progression.

There is already a body of scientific evidence demonstrating that obesity is linked to treatment failure after prostatectomy. However, there are no data on the effects of obesity on the effectiveness of radiation treatment for prostate cancer. Sara Strom, Ph.D. of the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and colleagues reviewed the medical records of 873 patients who received radiotherapy alone for prostate cancer. Among the group, 18 percent were mildly obese and 5 percent were moderately to severely obese.

After an average 96 months of follow-up, 295 of the men had three consecutive increases in blood PSA, indicating biochemical failure. Meanwhile, 127 of the men had clinical failure (local recurrence and/or distant metastasis) determined by radiologic studies, biopsy, or physical examination. On analysis, risk of biochemical and clinical failure were influenced by BMI. As
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