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From the Winter 2017 Quest
We need to accelerate toward using validated scientific evidence to determine the best way to care for patients. ©Dan Oldfield

Numerous studies have found an association between obesity and aggressive prostate cancer, but it is unclear how pre-surgical weight loss affects men with the disease.

A new randomized trial examined weight loss in men before they had surgery for prostate cancer. Forty men were assigned to either a weight loss intervention group or a control group. The men in the weight loss group were encouraged to lose about 2 pounds per week by restricting calories and exercising.

After an average of 50 days, the researchers compared changes in the two groups of men. Men in the weight loss group successfully lost more than twice as much weight, reduced their calories, exercised more and unsurprisingly had better vitality scores. However, weight loss showed mixed effects on circulating biomarkers, expression of genes from the tumors, and proliferative markers. There is some evidence from studies in mouse tumor models that a high-fat diet may increase the likelihood of metastases. The study authors said more study is needed before recommending rapid weight loss for men with prostate cancer.

Br J Cancer. 2017 Oct 24;117(9):1303-1313. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2017.303. Epub 2017 Sep 7.

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