High BMI might increase the chances of survival in certain cancers, claims study

A recent study has revealed startling revelations about the effects of high BMI. It might improve the chances of survival from certain cancers!
High BMI is said to have a negative impact on one's overall health, but there's a flip side to it too. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
PTI Updated: 12 May 2021, 22:28 pm IST
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Obesity has been a major cause of concern across the world. It can lead to adverse metabolic effects on blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and insulin resistance.

While there are enough evidences on how higher body mass index (BMI) can have a negative impact on one’s overall health, a recent study contradicts the same.

Published in the journal JAMA Oncology, the study claims that overweight or obese people might in some way have improved chances of survival from certain cancers. Surprising, isn’t it?

The researchers from Flinders University in Australia noted that above average or high BMI is often linked to cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular and other diseases

Focusing on clinical trials of atezolizumab — a common immunotherapy treatment for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) — the researchers found improved responsiveness to the drug in those with a high BMI.

The study included 1,434 participants, out of which 49% were normal weight, 34% were overweight and 7% were obese.

“This is an interesting outcome and it raises the potential to investigate further with other cancers and other anti-cancer drugs,” said Ganessan Kichenadasse, a medical oncology researcher at the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer.

Kichenadasse added:

We need to do further studies into the possible link between BMI and related inflammation, which might help to understand the mechanisms behind the paradoxical response to this form of cancer treatment.

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The researchers found NSCLC patients with BMI of more than 25 kilogrammes per square metre in four clinical trials had a significant reduction in mortality with atezolizumab, apparently benefiting from immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) therapy.

“Our study provides new evidence to support the hypothesis that high BMI and obesity may be associated with response to immunotherapy,” said Kichenadasse.

“While our study only looked at baseline and during treatment, we believe it warrants more studies into the potentially protective role of high BMI in other cancer treatments,” Kichenadasse added.

As per the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, at least 2.8 million people die each year as a result of being obese or overweight.

Also read: Obesity is no joke. Study claims it can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes

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