Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetic mutation may be vital in lethal prostate cancer in overweight patients

Date:
December 2, 2013
Source:
Harvard School of Public Health
Summary:
Obesity is associated with a worse prostate cancer prognosis among men whose tumors contain a specific genetic mutation.

Obesity is associated with a worse prostate cancer prognosis among men whose tumors contain a specific genetic mutation, suggest results from a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital researchers. Among prostate cancer patients whose tumors contain the mutation, they had a more than 50% increased risk of dying from prostate cancer if they were overweight or obese compared to healthy-weight men; among men whose tumors did not have the mutation, there was no effect of obesity on cancer survival. It is the first study to link data on obesity, tumor genetics, and cancer-specific survival in prostate cancer patients.

The study was published online November 30, 2013 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

"More than 100,000 men in the U.S. are diagnosed with prostate cancer that harbors this common gene mutation. Given the high prevalence of obesity among men, this excess risk of lethal prostate cancer associated with obesity is a considerable public health issue," said senior author Lorelei Mucci, associate professor of epidemiology at HSPH.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men, after lung cancer. In the United States, some 238,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013. Previous studies have shown that men who are overweight or obese -- about two thirds of the adult male population in the U.S. -- were more likely to have a worse prognosis after being diagnosed with prostate cancer than normal-weight men, but little was known about the mechanisms of how obesity was linked with prostate cancer or whether specific subgroups of patients were more susceptible to the effects of obesity.

The researchers, including lead author Andreas Pettersson, a former postdoctoral fellow at HSPH and now visiting scholar in the HSPH Department of Epidemiology, Mucci, Massimo Loda at Dana-Farber, and colleagues analyzed data on body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and a marker for the hormonally regulated genetic mutation TMPRSS2:ERG from 1,243 participants in the Physicians' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study who were diagnosed with prostate cancer between 1982 and 2005. Over the course of a follow-up period averaging 13 years, 119 men developed a lethal form of the disease.

One in two men with prostate cancer had tumors that were positive for the common genetic mutation TMPRSS2:ERG. The researchers found that among these men with prostate cancer whose tumors had the mutation, those who were overweight or obese had more than 50% increased risk of dying from cancer after diagnosis than normal-weight men. The effect was even stronger for obesity as measured by waist circumference. In contrast, men whose tumors were negative for the genetic mutation, there was no effect of obesity on cancer survival.

Obesity is associated with higher levels of several hormones, including insulin and growth factors that may fuel the progression of cancer. The authors found for the first time that the men whose tumors contained the TMPRSS2:ERG genetic mutation also had higher levels of the receptors for insulin and growth factor in their tumors. This finding may explain why men whose prostate tumors contain the genetic mutation would be more susceptible to the effects of obesity.

"The results from this study may help us better understand the mechanisms linking obesity with poorer prostate cancer prognosis. The key public health message is unchanged, however: Prostate cancer patients who are overweight or obese should lose weight to increase their chance of survival, regardless of whether their tumors carry this genetic change or not," said Pettersson.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Harvard School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Pettersson, R. T. Lis, A. Meisner, R. Flavin, E. C. Stack, M. Fiorentino, S. Finn, R. E. Graff, K. L. Penney, J. R. Rider, E. J. Nuttall, N. E. Martin, H. D. Sesso, M. Pollak, M. J. Stampfer, P. W. Kantoff, E. L. Giovannucci, M. Loda, L. A. Mucci. Modification of the Association Between Obesity and Lethal Prostate Cancer by TMPRSS2:ERG. JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2013; DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djt332

Cite This Page:

Harvard School of Public Health. "Genetic mutation may be vital in lethal prostate cancer in overweight patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131202171932.htm>.
Harvard School of Public Health. (2013, December 2). Genetic mutation may be vital in lethal prostate cancer in overweight patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131202171932.htm
Harvard School of Public Health. "Genetic mutation may be vital in lethal prostate cancer in overweight patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131202171932.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins