Unexpected findings on weight loss and breast cancer from international study in JNCCN

February 16, 2021

PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA [February 16, 2021] -- New research in the February 2021 issue of JNCCN--Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network examined body mass index (BMI) data for people with HER2-positive early breast cancer, and found a 5% weight loss in patients over two years in was associated with worse outcomes. Weight gain over the same time period did not affect survival rates.

"The finding that weight loss, and not weight gain, was associated with worse outcomes is unexpected," said lead researcher Samuel Martel, MD, Universitè de Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, who worked with researchers in Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, as well as the National Cancer Institute and the Mayo Clinic in the United States. "We were unable to make a distinction between intentional versus unintentional weight loss, so it's a matter of speculation whether worse outcomes were due to weight loss, or vice versa. We hope our findings highlight the importance of incorporating consecutive and prolonged data collection on weight in oncology trials, and gaining greater understanding of the metabolic processes after cancer diagnosis that may impact outcomes."

The BMI data came from the ALTTO BIG 2-06 trial, which collected height and weight data in 8,381 patients with HER2-positive early breast cancer treated with chemotherapy plus trastuzumab and/or lapatinib. 2.2% were underweight at the start of treatment, 45.3% were normal weight, 32.1% were classified as overweight, with another 20.4% obese--defined as a BMI greater than 30. Initial obesity was associated with worse outcomes, including more frequent and serious adverse events leading to treatment discontinuation, as well as significantly worse overall survival rates.

"It was surprising to see that more than 5% weight loss at 2 years was associated with poorer distant disease-free survival. Is our general advice to obese/overweight patient to exercise and lose weight wrong?" questioned Anthony D. Elias, MD, University of Colorado Cancer Center, a member of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines (NCCN Guidelines®) Panel for Breast Cancer. "Careful examination of the Kaplan-Meier hazard plots suggests that the relapse curves for those with weight loss are steeper in the second and third years of follow-up, but thereafter are relatively parallel. It's possible that the weight loss observed early may be an indication for impending relapse of breast cancer."

The study highlights the importance of weight management in cancer survivorship. The authors hope their findings may provide the basis for further research and oncology trials to guide weight control during the survivorship period.
-end-
To read the entire study, visit JNCCN.org. Complimentary access to "Body Mass Index and Weight Change in Patients With HER2-Positive Early Breast Cancer: Exploratory Analysis of the ALTTO BIG 2-06 Trial" is available until May 10, 2021.

About JNCCN--Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

More than 25,000 oncologists and other cancer care professionals across the United States read JNCCN--Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. This peer-reviewed, indexed medical journal provides the latest information about innovation in translational medicine, and scientific studies related to oncology health services research, including quality care and value, bioethics, comparative and cost effectiveness, public policy, and interventional research on supportive care and survivorship. JNCCN features updates on the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®), review articles elaborating on guidelines recommendations, health services research, and case reports highlighting molecular insights in patient care. JNCCN is published by Harborside. Visit JNCCN.org. To inquire if you are eligible for a FREE subscription to JNCCN, visit http://www.nccn.org/jnccn/subscribe.aspx. Follow JNCCN on Twitter @JNCCN.

About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) is a not-for-profit alliance of leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education. NCCN is dedicated to improving and facilitating quality, effective, efficient, and accessible cancer care so patients can live better lives. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) provide transparent, evidence-based, expert consensus recommendations for cancer treatment, prevention, and supportive services; they are the recognized standard for clinical direction and policy in cancer management and the most thorough and frequently-updated clinical practice guidelines available in any area of medicine. The NCCN Guidelines for Patients® provide expert cancer treatment information to inform and empower patients and caregivers, through support from the NCCN Foundation®. NCCN also advances continuing education, global initiatives, policy, and research collaboration and publication in oncology. Visit NCCN.org for more information and follow NCCN on Facebook @NCCNorg, Instagram @NCCNorg, and Twitter @NCCN.

National Comprehensive Cancer Network

Related Breast Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

Oncotarget: IGF2 expression in breast cancer tumors and in breast cancer cells
The Oncotarget authors propose that methylation of DVDMR represents a novel epigenetic biomarker that determines the levels of IGF2 protein expression in breast cancer.

Breast cancer: AI predicts which pre-malignant breast lesions will progress to advanced cancer
New research at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, could help better determine which patients diagnosed with the pre-malignant breast cancer commonly as stage 0 are likely to progress to invasive breast cancer and therefore might benefit from additional therapy over and above surgery alone.

Partial breast irradiation effective treatment option for low-risk breast cancer
Partial breast irradiation produces similar long-term survival rates and risk for recurrence compared with whole breast irradiation for many women with low-risk, early stage breast cancer, according to new clinical data from a national clinical trial involving researchers from The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G.

Breast screening linked to 60 per cent lower risk of breast cancer death in first 10 years
Women who take part in breast screening have a significantly greater benefit from treatments than those who are not screened, according to a study of more than 50,000 women.

More clues revealed in link between normal breast changes and invasive breast cancer
A research team, led by investigators from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, details how a natural and dramatic process -- changes in mammary glands to accommodate breastfeeding -- uses a molecular process believed to contribute to survival of pre-malignant breast cells.

Breast tissue tumor suppressor PTEN: A potential Achilles heel for breast cancer cells
A highly collaborative team of researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina and Ohio State University report in Nature Communications that they have identified a novel pathway for connective tissue PTEN in breast cancer cell response to radiotherapy.

Computers equal radiologists in assessing breast density and associated breast cancer risk
Automated breast-density evaluation was just as accurate in predicting women's risk of breast cancer, found and not found by mammography, as subjective evaluation done by radiologists, in a study led by researchers at UC San Francisco and Mayo Clinic.

Blood test can effectively rule out breast cancer, regardless of breast density
A new study published in PLOS ONE demonstrates that Videssa® Breast, a multi-protein biomarker blood test for breast cancer, is unaffected by breast density and can reliably rule out breast cancer in women with both dense and non-dense breast tissue.

Study shows influence of surgeons on likelihood of removal of healthy breast after breast cancer dia
Attending surgeons can have a strong influence on whether a patient undergoes contralateral prophylactic mastectomy after a diagnosis of breast cancer, according to a study published by JAMA Surgery.

Young breast cancer patients undergoing breast conserving surgery see improved prognosis
A new analysis indicates that breast cancer prognoses have improved over time in young women treated with breast conserving surgery.

Read More: Breast Cancer News and Breast Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.