Pancreas cancer surgery outcome worse with obesity

People who have undergone surgery for pancreatic cancer and are classified as obese don’t live as long as those who are not obese, according to a new report.

Dr. Jason B. Fleming, from the University of Texas, Houston, and colleagues looked at the outcomes of 285 patients with pancreatic cancer who were all treated at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Obesity was classified as a body mass index or BMI of 30 or more.

Cancer was 12 times more likely to be found to have spread to the lymph nodes in patients with BMIs of 35 of more, compared to those with lower BMIs, the investigators report in the Archives of Surgery.

For patients with a BMI higher than 35, average survival was 13.2 months, compared with 27.4 months for those with a BMI of less than 23.

The cancer recurred in 95% of patients with a BMI above 35, while those with lower BMIs had a recurrence rate of 61%, the researchers note.

The results, they conclude, “suggest that obesity is a host factor affecting tumor biology independent of the difficulties… involved in delivering oncologic care in obese patients.”

SOURCE: Archives of Surgery, March 2009.

Provided by ArmMed Media