Experts investigate weight management and prostate cancer progression

Opinion
Video

"We had interest in trying to look at mechanisms and seeing if the obvious question is, well, if obesity is associated with progressing cancer, can we disrupt that link if we help men lose weight in a healthy way," says Jill Hamilton Reeves, PhD, RD, CSO.

In this video, Jill M. Hamilton Reeves, PhD, RD, CSO, describes the background for the Journal of Urology paper, “Impact of Weight Management on Obesity-Driven Biomarkers of Prostate Cancer Progression.” Hamilton-Reeves is an associate professor of dietetics and nutrition at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City.

Transcription:

Please describe the background for this research.

We know that obesity and prostate cancer are associated, and there have been quite a few studies looking at the science behind what is it about obesity that might be driving prostate cancer progression? And so we had interest in trying to look at mechanisms and seeing if the obvious question is, well, if obesity is associated with progressing cancer, can we disrupt that link if we help men lose weight in a healthy way? That being said, it's more likely for men with prostate cancer to die of cardiovascular disease, and we know that obesity increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality as well. So it was one of those things that had a very low risk as far as intervening. I think the other important part is that when I started working with the urology department, I was introduced to a patient who had prostate cancer, and he really gave a lot of input on the feasibility of doing this type of trial and really kind of co-developed the project with me. His name was Jeff Jernigan. Unfortunately, he has passed from prostate cancer, but it was a really neat experience as a researcher. That was the first time that I had co-designed a trial with someone who had already walked in the steps of what this process was like. He was not obese; he wasn't overweight, and he also saw the benefit of lifestyle changes and how that helped him battle cancer, and so that was a narrative that really drove our work and really informed how we went about putting the intervention together.

This transcription was edited for clarity.

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