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High BMI may increase chances of cancer survival


Washington: A new research suggests that a high Body Mass Index (BMI) which is usually linked to diseases like diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases may in some cases improve the chance of survival for cancer patients.

The research was conducted by researchers from Flinders University and was published in the journal JAMA Oncology.

The surprising results of the study contradict the regular warnings about the health risks of overweight and obese patients.

“This is an interesting outcome and it raises the potential to investigate further with other cancers and other anti-cancer drugs,” said Dr Ganessan Kichenadasse who led the research.

“We need to do further studies into the possible link between BMI and related inflammation, which might help to understand the mechanisms behind paradoxical response to this form of cancer treatment,” Kichenadasse added.


According to the researchers, earlier studies had coined the concept of obesity paradox in which obesity is associated with risks of developing certain cancers but counter-intuitively, it is learned that it may protect and give greater survival benefits for some people.

“Our study provides new evidence to support the hypothesis that high BMI and obesity may be associated with response to immunotherapy,” said Dr Kichenadasse.

“While our study only looked at baseline and during treatment, we believe it warrants more studies into the potentially protective role of high BMI in other cancer treatments,” Kichenadasse added.

Alternatively, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that at least 2.8 million people die because of being obese or overweight.

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