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Wednesday, July 5, 2023 Overweight tied to better head, neck cancer outcomes after chemoradiotherapy

JULY 3, 2023
by Elana Gotkine

Overweight body mass index (BMI) is associated with favorable outcomes in patients with nonmetastatic head and neck cancer undergoing chemoradiotherapy, according to a study published online June 27 in JAMA Network Open.

Sung Jun Ma, M.D., from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, New York, and colleagues evaluated the role of BMI in treatment response, tumor recurrence, and survival outcomes among 445 patients with nonmetastatic head and neck cancer who underwent chemoradiotherapy from Jan.1, 2005, to Jan. 31, 2021.

The researchers found that over a median 48.1 months of follow-up, only overweight BMI was associated with improved overall survival (five-year OS: 71.5 versus 58.4%; adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 0.59; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.39 to 0.91; P = 0.02) and progression-free survival (five-year PFS: 68.3 versus 50.8%; aHR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.34 to 0.75; P < 0.001).

Following treatment, overweight BMI (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.86; 95% CI, 0.80 to 0.93; P < 0.001) and obese BMI (aOR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.81 to 0.96; P = 0.005) were associated with complete metabolic response on follow-up positron emission tomography-computed tomography. Overweight BMI was associated with less locoregional failure (five-year LRF: 7.0 versus 25.9%; aHR, 0.30; 95% CI, 0.12 to 0.71; P = 0.01), but not distant failure (five-year DF: 17.4 versus 21.5%; aHR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.47 to 1.77; P = 0.79).

"Further investigations are warranted to improve understanding on the role of BMI among patients with head and neck cancer," the authors write.

More information: Sung Jun Ma et al, Association of Body Mass Index With Outcomes Among Patients With Head and Neck Cancer Treated With Chemoradiotherapy, JAMA Network Open (2023). DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.20513