Lifestyle intervention helped breast cancer survivors lose weight

December 7, 2018, American Association for Cancer Research

Survivors of early-stage breast cancer who participated in a lifestyle intervention on healthy habits lost weight and experienced higher rates of disease-free survival if they completed the program, according to results presented at the 2018 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 4-8.

"Evidence has shown that obesity and low physical activity are associated with higher risks of developing breast cancer, as well as an increased risk of recurrence and reduced survival," said the study's lead author, Wolfgang Janni, MD, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Ulm, Germany.

"Many breast cancer survivors would like to contribute actively to improving their prognosis, and guiding them on that can help them control weight is one possible way to positively impact ," he continued.

Janni and colleagues studied a telephone-based lifestyle as part of a larger Phase III study, the SUCCESS C study, which compared disease-free survival in patients with HER2-negative early-stage breast cancer who were treated with one of two chemotherapy regimens.

In the lifestyle intervention part of the study, researchers enrolled 2,292 of the 3,643 women who were already participating in the SUCCESS C trial. All had a body mass index of 24 or higher. The women were randomly assigned to receive either telephone-based, individualized guidance aimed at helping them achieve moderate weight loss for two years, or general recommendations for a healthy lifestyle alone. Those who received the telephone calls were given advice on how to improve their diets, lower fat intake, increase physical activity, and other tips that were geared to their specific needs.

At the end of the two-year follow-up period, patients in the lifestyle intervention arm had lost an average of 1.0 kilogram (2.2 pounds), while the patients in the had gained an average of 0.95 kilograms. In the intention to treat analysis, there was no difference in survival between patients who were assigned to the lifestyle intervention compared to the standard arm.

Overall, 1,477 patients completed the lifestyle intervention. Those who completed the program had a 35 percent higher rate of disease-free survival than those who began the program but did not complete it.

Among those who completed the program, those who received the lifestyle intervention were about 50 percent more likely to have disease-free survival than those who received the general recommendations. The improved outlook was similar in both univariable analysis and when the researchers controlled for factors such as age, menopausal status, tumor size, hormone receptor status, and chemotherapy type.

Janni said that while the exploratory analysis should be interpreted with caution, this study indicates that completion of a systematic telephone intervention program may positively affect outcomes for patients diagnosed with early-stage cancer.

"Lifestyle intervention might improve the prognosis of patients if adherence is high," Janni said. "This was a highly feasible program to design and implement, and further studies are warranted to confirm its effectiveness." He said future research could include additional subgroup analysis and could examine whether the improved outlook for disease-free survival also correlates with certain biomarkers.

Janni cautioned that the most significant factors affecting disease-free are tumor stage and tumor biology. He said a limitation of this study is that the who chose to complete the may have already been more motivated to improve their fitness.

Explore further: Adjuvant capecitabine did not improve outcomes for patients with early triple-negative breast cancer

Related Stories

Adjuvant capecitabine did not improve outcomes for patients with early triple-negative breast cancer

December 5, 2018
Treating patients who had early-stage triple-negative breast cancer with the chemotherapy agent capecitabine after they completed surgery and standard chemotherapy did not significantly improve disease-free or overall survival ...

Lowering dietary fat intake reduces death rates in some women with breast cancer

December 15, 2014
Among early-stage breast cancer patients who reduced their dietary fat intake for five years following a diagnosis, after over 15 years follow-up, death rates from all causes were significantly reduced in those who had hormone-unrelated ...

Some patients with metastatic triple negative breast cancer live longer with immunotherapy

October 22, 2018
Immunotherapy improves survival in some patients with metastatic triple negative breast cancer, according to late-breaking results from the IMpassion130 trial reported at the ESMO 2018 Congress in Munich.

Adjuvant Trastuzumab did not improve outcomes for patients with HER2-low breast cancer

December 6, 2017
Adding trastuzumab (Herceptin) to standard adjuvant chemotherapy did not improve invasive disease–free survival for patients with early-stage breast cancer found to have low levels of HER2, as defined as immunohistochemistry ...

Lifestyle biomarkers investigated in prostate cancer survivors

January 10, 2018
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which have been linked to many chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, build up in the body from birth due to normal metabolism but are often higher ...

Capecitabine improved outcomes for breast cancer patients with disease after presurgery chemo

December 9, 2015
Treatment with the chemotherapy agent capecitabine increased disease-free survival for women with HER2-negative breast cancer that was not eliminated by presurgery chemotherapy, according to results from the phase III CREATE-X ...

Recommended for you

Two ways cancer resists treatment are actually connected, with one activating the other

December 18, 2018
Drugs that target BRAF and MEK in cancer have shown promise in treating a subset of melanoma that carries a mutation in the BRAF gene, but drug resistance usually emerges, reversing the benefit of these drugs and limiting ...

HPV discovery raises hope for new cervical cancer treatments

December 18, 2018
Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have made a discovery about human papillomavirus (HPV) that could lead to new treatments for cervical cancer and other cancers caused by the virus.

Vaccine, checkpoint drugs combination shows promise for pancreatic cancers

December 18, 2018
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center discovered a combination of a cancer vaccine with two checkpoint drugs reduced pancreatic cancer tumors in mice, demonstrating a possible pathway for treatment of people ...

Researchers identify ways breast cancer avoids immune system detection

December 18, 2018
Recent breakthroughs in immunotherapy are making a huge difference in treating some forms of cancer, especially metastatic cancer. But breast cancer has proven a tricky foe for this new therapy, and an interdisciplinary team ...

Metal chemotherapy drugs boost the impact of immunotherapy in cancer

December 18, 2018
Due to their powerful tumour-killing effect, metal-based chemotherapies are frequently used in cancer treatment. However, it was hitherto assumed that they damaged the immune system, because of their cytotoxic (cell-damaging) ...

10-year follow-up after negative colonoscopies linked to lower colorectal cancer risk

December 17, 2018
Ten years after a negative colonoscopy, Kaiser Permanente members had 46 percent lower risk of being diagnosed with and were 88 percent less likely to die from colorectal cancer compared with those who did not undergo colorectal ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.