Researchers have found a correlation between a high body mass index and the effectiveness of a recent lung cancer immunotherapy treatment.
A new study suggests that cancer patients with a higher body mass index (BMI) tend to show better survival rates compared with healthy weights. This research, which at first glance appears to be paradoxical, applies mainly to patients who have received a new lung cancer immunotherapy treatment.
"Previous studies have explored a concept called the 'obesity paradox', where obesity is associated with greater risks for the development of certain cancers and, counterintuitively, may protect and provide greater survival benefits in certain individuals," explains Ganessan Kichenadasse. , one of the study's authors, cited by New atlas.
The 'obesity paradox' is an idea that is far from gathering consensus in the scientific community, but there are studies that argue for its viability. The research of Australian scientists was publishedlast week in the scientific journal JAMA Oncology.
Thus, the hypothesis proposed by scientists is that obesity, in a way, may increase the effectiveness of immunotherapy in cancer patients.
To support their ideas, they examined 1500 patients with non-small cell lung cancer who, according to the CUF, is the most common cancer, usually accounting for 85% of lung cancer cases. The treatment to be applied to these patients was Atezolizumab – an antibody that enhances the potency of the immune system to fight cancer cells.
Cancer patients who were being given a more traditional treatment were also observed. In these cases, this correlation between obesity and treatment effectiveness was not verified.
"Our study provides new evidence to support the hypothesis that high BMI and obesity may be associated with response to immunotherapy," says Kichenadasse. "Although our study looked only at treatment, we believe it justifies further studies on the potentially protective role of high BMI in other cancer treatments," he added.