Studies examine impact of obesity on prostate, bladder cancer

May 24, 2005

Findings from two studies presented at the AUA meeting here yesterday provide further evidence that obesity negatively affects prostate and bladder cancer outcomes.

Findings from two studies presented at the AUA meeting here yesterday provide further evidence that obesity negatively affects prostate and bladder cancer outcomes.

Investigators at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions reported that higher rates of obesity among African-American men compared with Caucasian men may, in part, explain why African-American men have increased mortality rates. Stephen Freedland, MD, clinical instructor at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, presented data from 155 African-American and 155 Caucasian men who had undergone radical retropubic prostatectomy to evaluate the influence of race and body mass index on pathologic outcome and disease progression after surgery. African-American men presented with higher-risk disease, higher PSA values, and higher-grade cancers. While race was not a predictor of biochemical progression after surgery, BMI did have an effect, with nonobese (BMI

"These findings suggest that efforts to reduce obesity among the population in general and African-Americans in particular are warranted," Dr. Freeland said at a press conference arranged by AUA.

Separately, Karim Touijer, MD, and colleagues at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, evaluated 141 patients who underwent radical cystectomy for invasive bladder cancer and found that increased BMI did not affect the quality of surgery performed as measured by node count, extent of dissection, or local recurrence rates.

"Although obese (>29.9 kg/m2) patients were more likely to have urologic complications than nonobese patients, the rate was acceptable, and obese patients should not be excluded from surgical clinical trials," said Dr. Touijer.