News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Obesity affects breast cancer treatment

Obesity affects breast cancer treatment


Obesity may affect a common drug that is used as part of the treatment to fight breast cancer in post-menopausal women.

Obesity is now defined as a global pandemic and it’s predicted that more than half of the world’s population will be obese by 2030. Obesity is associated with an increased risk of several cancers and poorer outcomes for cancers such as colon, endometrial and post-menopausal breast cancer.

Aromatase inhibitors stop the production of oestrogen in post-menopausal women by blocking the enzyme aromatase, which turns the hormone androgen into small amounts of oestrogen in the body. This means that less oestrogen is available to stimulate the growth of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer cells.

Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) can't stop the ovaries from making oestrogen, so aromatase inhibitors only work in postmenopausal women.

There are three types of aromatase inhibitors, and each one is a pill, usually taken once a day. It’s considered the best hormonal therapy to start with when treating early-stage, hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer.

“AIs may be less effective in obese women due to the greater quantity of aromatase in peripheral fatty tissue”, says study author, Professor Mark Elwood, an expert in cancer epidemiology from the University of Auckland.

That was one of the conclusions from his recent systematic review of eight earlier studies to assess the effect of obesity on AI efficacy in breast cancer treatment.

Studies included were interventional or observational studies with comparison groups of post-menopausal women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer on treatment with an AI – alone or in combination with other drugs in which body mass index or another measure of obesity was used.

“Outcome measures included overall survival, disease-free survival or time to progressive disease, survival from the start of therapy, mortality measures, local or distant recurrence of primary cancer and time to recurrence,” says co-author, medical oncologist, Dr David Porter. “The systematic review showed a trend towards a negative effect of obesity on AI efficacy, but the size of the effect (in post-menopausal hormone receptor positive breast cancer), and whether it is the same with all AIs is difficult to determine.”

More information is needed before clinical recommendations are made, he says.

“AIs are prescribed at a fixed dose in all patients, but the apparent decreased efficacy in heavier patients warrants investigation of whether higher doses would be more effective in obese women,” says Dr Porter.

“It is important for physicians to contemplate more individualised treatment choices to limit the number of non-responders to treatment and to improve the likelihood of successful therapy for all patients,” he says.

“Many questions remain unanswered in this complex scenario and information is needed before recommendations for the improved use of AIs for obese patients could or should be made,” says Professor Elwood.

“Further evidence on the differing potencies of the major AIs in obesity would help clarify whether specific AIs may yield a better outcome in obese patients or whether prescribing higher doses of AIs might be useful.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Eddie Izzard: UK Comedy Legend Returns

Hailed as one of the foremost stand up comedians of his generation. Star of stage and screen. Tireless supporter of charity. Runner. Political campaigner. Fashion Icon... February 2015, Eddie Izzard will bring his massive FORCE MAJEURE world tour to New Zealand with tickets going on sale at 10am on Tuesday 28th October. More>>

Festival Starts 28 Oct: Improv Fest Makes Up New Show

For any other festival, finding out less than two weeks from showtime that half the cast of a programmed show can’t make it to New Zealand would be a nightmare. Instead, the New Zealand Improv Festival Director Jennifer O’Sullivan saw an opportunity ... More>>

NZ Music Awards Finalists: Lorde, Sol3 Mio Top 2014 Tuis Charge

Lorde has taken the music world by storm during the past year and she co-leads the 2014 Tui charge with five finalist spots. Joining her is newcomer family opera trio, Sol3 Mio. They are followed closely by Ladi6 and David Dallas, both up for four awards each. More>>

From 'Luther' Creator: Major New Zealand Crime Series For BBC

Libertine Pictures and writer Neil Cross have teamed up with leading international TV producer Carnival Films to develop a major new crime series set in Rotorua. Libertine will develop the contemporary drama series with Carnival, producer of internationally-acclaimed British period drama Downton Abbey, for the BBC. More>>

ALSO:

Family Statement: Death Of Ewen Gilmour

“Ewen was a much loved and cherished member of our family, he was a larger than life character and by his very nature was kind, generous and always giving of his time to those who asked for his help." More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: St. Jerome's Laneway Festival - Line-Up Announced

Traversing seven cities and three countries, the festival has well and truly settled into its home in each state. From the grassy knolls and towering silos at home in Auckland, to the sparkling backdrop of the Maribyrnong... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: No Longer An Island

Simon Nathan reviews 'Zealandia: Our Continent Revealed': The idea that New Zealand is part of a large submerged continent is not new... There was renewed interest in the extent of offshore New Zealand from the 1970s onwards with the start of offshore drilling for oil and gas, and this was given impetus by a UN agreement which allowed countries to claim an Extended Continental Shelf (ECS). More>>

Art: Simon Denny Recreates Kim Dotcom’s Personal Effects

Who owns what? How has the internet changed our relation to the world? These are two of the many questions Simon Denny raises in the latest exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery, opening on Saturday 4 October. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news