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Chemo-Linked Factors May Impact Weight in Breast Cancer

Early breast cancer chemotherapy-induced weight gain and metabolic changes may affect prognosis

THURSDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- Adjuvant chemotherapy for early-stage breast cancer can induce weight gain and a variety of metabolic changes that may be associated with a poor prognosis for some patients, according to research published in the April issue of Obesity Reviews.

Emilie Gadéa, of the Centre Jean Perrin in Clermont-Ferrand, France, and colleagues conducted a literature review to investigate causes and mechanisms associated with body weight change during chemotherapy and its association with prognosis in early-stage breast cancer.

The investigators found that some studies in recent decades attributed weight gain or loss to energy imbalance through different chemotherapy-linked factors, including poor tolerance to treatment, reductions in muscle mass and function, and hormonal alterations. The resultant modifications of body composition were in favor of loss of lean body mass and/or fat gain. An increase in adipose tissue, particularly in the abdominal region, appeared to induce insulin resistance and other metabolic disturbances through various pathways involving adipokines.

"Further investigations are required to elucidate mechanisms involved in poor prognosis of weight changes and to discover early predictive markers to identify women at high risk of weight changes. Understanding such mechanisms is key to developing personalized preventive strategies for improving the prognosis of early-stage breast cancer patients," the authors write.

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