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Renal Cancer Less Aggressive in Obese Patients

Increased body mass index may be linked to slower progressing malignancy

MONDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Although a greater body mass index, or BMI, is associated with a higher risk of developing renal cell carcinoma, it is also linked to less-aggressive disease and longer five-year survival in patients who do develop the cancer, researchers report in the October issue of Urology.

Alexander S. Parker, Ph.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., and colleagues evaluated BMI data and cancer-specific survival in 970 patients with renal cell carcinoma who had nephrectomy from 1988 to 2002.

The investigators found that patients who were overweight (a BMI of 25 to less than 30) and obese (a BMI of 30 or more) were more likely to have less-aggressive malignancy compared with normal-weight patients (BMI less than 25). The five-year survival rates were 62.3 percent for normal-weight patients, 76.9 percent for overweight patients and 81.7 percent for obese patients. Overweight (hazard ratio, 0.64) and obese (hazard ratio, 0.48) patients had less risk for mortality due to renal cell carcinoma than patients who had a normal BMI.

"Body mass index offers little additional prognostic information beyond the accepted prognostic features; however, the association of an increased BMI with a less-aggressive disease profile at presentation warrants further exploration," the authors conclude.

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