The Healthcare Standard

Obesity May Boost Effectiveness of a Lung Cancer Therapy

MONDAY, Dec. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Obesity is seldom a friend to health, but in one medical context it might give patients a slight advantage, new research suggests.

Specifically, when Australian researchers looked at trials of atezolizumab, an immune system-based treatment for lung cancer, they found that the drug worked better in people who were overweight.

The trial involved more than 2,100 people with the most common form of lung tumors, non-small cell lung cancer. About half of the participants were normal weight, about one-third were overweight and 7 percent were obese. About two-thirds of patients received the newer drug, atezolizumab, while the remaining third got an older drug, docetaxel.

The researchers found that obesity — a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above — “was associated with significantly improved overall survival in patients treated with atezolizumab, but not in those who received docetaxel.”


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