Obesity Associated With Improved Melanoma Outcomes

Source: Cancer Therapy Advisor, March 2018

Being of obese body mass index (BMI) is associated with better outcomes among patients with metastatic melanoma treated with targeted or immunotherapy, according to a retrospective study published in Lancet Oncology.1

Jennifer L. McQuade, MD, MA, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, and lead author of the study, noted that the results were surprising. “We hypothesized that obesity would be associated with worse outcomes in patients with metastatic melanoma treated with immunotherapy and targeted therapy.”

Though multiple studies indicate that higher BMI is associated with an increased risk of developing or dying from different cancer subtypes, some observational studies suggest that overweight BMI may have a protective effect during cancer treatment.2 Morbid obesity, however, has been associated with poor outcomes. This phenomenon is referred to as the obesity paradox.

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