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Excess Body Weight Associated With Increased Risk for Cancer Recurrence After Treatment for Prostate Cancer

April 3, 2012
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  • Risk for prostate cancer recurrence increased as excess body weight increased.
  • Obese and overweight men were at higher risk.
  • Body weight status and related lifestyle factors could be used to predict risk.

CHICAGO — Researchers have found an association between excess body weight and an increased risk for cancer recurrence in men with clinically localized prostate cancer.

“Men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer and who have excess body weight as indicated by a higher-than-normal body mass index (BMI) have an increased risk for cancer recurrence after treatment,” said Vincent L. Freeman, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor in the division of epidemiology and biostatistics in the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois in Chicago, Ill.

Freeman presented results of this cross-sectional study at the AACR Annual Meeting 2012, held here March 31 – April 4.

Freeman and colleagues examined BMI, which measures body weight relative to height, and risk for cancer recurrence based on blood prostate-specific antigen level, physical exam and prostate cancer biopsy results in 119 men who were awaiting surgery for clinically localized prostate cancer.

The results showed that the risk for cancer recurrence increased with increasing BMI. Men in the upper quartile for BMI were nearly eight times more likely to have prostate cancers that had a moderate-to-high risk for recurrence after treatment compared with men in the lower quartile. Men in the upper-middle and lower-middle quartiles for BMI were 6.5 times and 3.5 times more likely to have a moderate-to-high recurrence risk, respectively.

“The association was not limited to obese men; even being just overweight based on BMI was associated with an increased risk for prostate cancer recurrence,” Freeman said.

He and his colleagues concluded that body weight status and related lifestyle factors connected to prostate cancer could be used as viable indicators for high-risk cases.
“The results provide additional support for a mechanistic link between body weight status and the clinical presentation and course of prostate cancer,” Freeman said. “Our findings also highlight the importance of maintaining a healthy body weight throughout adulthood.”

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute.

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About the AACR

Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world’s first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR’s membership includes 34,000 laboratory, translational and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and cancer advocates residing in more than 90 countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise of the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, biology, diagnosis and treatment of cancer by annually convening more than 20 conferences and educational workshops, the largest of which is the AACR Annual Meeting with more than 18,000 attendees. In addition, the AACR publishes seven peer-reviewed scientific journals and a magazine for cancer survivors, patients and their caregivers. The AACR funds meritorious research directly as well as in cooperation with numerous cancer organizations. As the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer, the AACR provides expert peer review, grants administration and scientific oversight of individual and team science grants in cancer research that have the potential for patient benefit. The AACR actively communicates with legislators and policymakers about the value of cancer research and related biomedical science in saving lives from cancer.  

For more information about the AACR, visit

Media Contact:
Jeremy Moore
(215) 446-7109
In Chicago, March 31 – April 4:
(312) 528-8206

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