Background: Recent studies conducted in patients with chronic diseases have reported an inverse association between body mass index (BMI) and mortality. However, the question as to whether BMI may predict prognosis in patients with metastatic cancer remains open. We therefore designed the current retrospective study to investigate the potential association between BMI and overall survival (OS) in patients with distant metastases (DM) and a favorable performance status.

Methods: Between 2000 and 2012, a total of 4,010 cancer patients with DM who required radiotherapy (RT) and had their BMI measured at the initiation of RT were identified. The relation between BMI and OS was examined by univariate and multivariable analysis.

Results: The median OS time was 3.23 months (range: 0.1−122.17) for underweight patients, 6.08 months (range: 0.03−149.46) for normal-weight patients, 7.99 months (range: 0.07−158.01) for overweight patients, and 12.49 months (range, 0.2−164.1) for obese patients (log-rank: P < 0.001). Compared with normal-weight patients, both obese (HR = 0.676; 95% P < 0.001) and overweight individuals (HR = 0.84; P < 0.001) had a reduced risk of all-cause mortality in multivariable analysis. Conversely, underweight patients had a significantly higher risk of death from all causes (HR = 1.41; P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Overweight and obesity are independent predictors of better OS in metastatic patients with a good performance status. Increased BMI may play a role to identify metastatic patients with superior survival outcome and exhibit a potential to encourage aggressive management in those patients even with metastases.

Citation Format: Ngan M. Tsang. Overweight and obesity predict better overall survival rates in cancer patients with distant metastases. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 107th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2016 Apr 16-20; New Orleans, LA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2016;76(14 Suppl):Abstract nr 3423.