Obesity Correlation With Metastases Development and Response to First-Line Metastatic Chemotherapy in Breast Cancer

Clin Med Insights Oncol. 2015 Nov 24;9:105-12. doi: 10.4137/CMO.S32812. eCollection 2015.


Study objectives: To compare breast cancer metastases between obese and nonobese women and to evaluate the effect of first-line metastatic chemotherapy in each group.

Method: A retrospective study was performed in an educational institute in Ireland. The study consisted of two parts: the first part was a comparative analysis of metastases development in obese (arm A) and nonobese patients (arm B). The second part was a comparison between both arms in relation to their response to first-line metastatic chemotherapy and their survival data.

Results: Between 2009 and 2014, we reviewed 118 patients with metastatic breast cancer. All the patients fulfilled our inclusion criteria. In all, 48% of patients were obese and 52% were nonobese. There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups. For arms A and B, the median interval between initial cancer diagnosis and distant metastases development (distant metastases-free survival) was 5.8 versus 7.6 years, respectively (Pvalue 0.04). Earlier visceral (liver and lung) metastases were observed in obese compared to nonobese women (Pvalues were 0.05 and 0.04, respectively). The most commonly used chemotherapy was weekly paclitaxel. Our treatments showed significantly better treatment response and better survival results in nonobese women than in obese ones, who were premenopausal with performance state 2, pathological grade 3, and four or more positive lymph nodes.

Conclusion: Obesity is linked with visceral metastases development, especially lung and liver metastases. Furthermore, first-line metastatic chemotherapy achieved better results in nonobese patients.

Keywords: ORR; OS; PFS; obesity; paclitaxel; visceral.