"The primary role of obesity in prostate cancer is still unclear, but it appears to induce the development of more aggressive tumors," said Christopher L. Amling, MD, of the Naval Medical Center's Department of Urology in San Diego and lead author of one of the studies. "I would advise patients to maintain a normal body weight to limit the possibility that they would develop clinically significant, more aggressive prostate tumors."
Both studies examined the relationship between obesity and prostate cancer recurrence in large samples of men with localized prostate cancer who had undergone surgery to remove the prostate a procedure called radical prostatectomy.
While obesity rates in the general adult population are similar between African-American and Caucasian men, both studies found that obese patients in the study groups were more likely to be African American. This finding may help explain why African-American men with prostate cancer generally have more aggressive tumors and worse outcomes compared to Caucasians.
"We suspect that worse outcomes among African-American men with prostate cancer are related to obesity rather than race. If we can target obesity in the African-American community, we may be able to reduce the burden of prostate cancer among black men," explained lead author of the second study, Stephen J. Freedland, MD of the multi-institution Shared Equal Access Regional Cancer Hospital (SEARCH) Database an
Contact: Carrie Housman
American Society of Clinical Oncology