Obesity May Boost Effectiveness of Lung Cancer Treatment, According to Study

ObesityThe latest study in the field of lung cancer has revealed that an immune system-based treatment for lung cancer, worked better in people who were overweight in some trials. In the medical context, obesity might have given patients a little advance, new research suggests.

Australian researchers have looked at trials of atezolizumab involving 2100 people with most common form of lung tumor: non-small cell lung cancer. Atezolizumab drug is also known by the name of Tecentriq and is a common immunotherapy treatment for NSCLC. In this research, about half of the participants were normal weight, about one third were overweight and about 7% were obese. According to the study, obese cancer patients responded better with drug than thinner ones. About two-third of patients received newer drug, atezolizumab while remaining got docetaxel. The researchers found that obesity was associated with significantly improved overall survival in patients treated with atezolizumab.

These surprising results were published in the Journal JAMA Oncology. Lead investigator Dr Ganessan Kichenadasse, a medical oncology researcher at the Flinders Centre, said: “This is an interesting outcome and it raises the potential to investigate further with other cancers and other anti-cancer drugs.” “We need to do further studies into the possible link between body mass index (BMI) and related inflammation, which might help to understand the mechanisms behind paradoxical response to this form of cancer treatment,” he added.

This study provides new evidence to support that high BMI and obesity may be associated with response to immunotherapy. However, it is also being made clear that this finding is certainly no reason to be comfortable with overweight or obesity. The new finding on lung cancer treatment is interesting but at the same time, has few possible explanations as well. It is quite possible that tumors in heavier individuals are mildly different and more likely to respond. It is also possible that those with low BMI have higher incidence of cancer cachexia.

It is also being made clear that staying fit and healthy is the best defense against any problem.


The information shared in this blog is for educational purposes only.

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