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Posted by on Jan 26, 2018 in Non-Hodgkin lymphoma | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study looked at the impact being overweight or obese had on outcomes for elderly patients with B-cell lymphomas. The study concluded that female patients who were obese had worse outcomes than those who were not obese. 

Some background

Being overweight or obese can have negative effects on health. People who are obese have a greater risk of developing heart issues. Obesity also increases the risk for developing several types of cancer. The effect of obesity on patients being treated for aggressive B-cell lymphomas is unknown.

Methods & findings

The medical records of 576 patients were reviewed. 19% of patients were obese, defined as a body mass index (BMI; a measure of body fat that takes height and weight into account) above 30. 81% of patients were not obese (BMI below 30). All patients were over 60 years old. All patients had some type of aggressive B-cell lymphoma. Patients were treated with standard chemotherapy (R-CHOP; rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone).

Survival outcomes for elderly obese men were not different compared to those who were not obese.

The progression free survival rate (time from treatment to disease progression) was higher for non-obese female patients compared to obese female patients. The overall survival rate (time from treatment to death from any cause) was higher for non-obese female patients compared to obese female patients. Both the progression free survival and overall survival were significantly better for non-obese female patients. 

The bottom line

The authors concluded that obese elderly female patients with aggressive B-cell lymphomas have worse outcomes than patients who were not obese. The authors suggested that this may be due to faster rituximab clearance from the body in these patients.

The fine print

A BMI below 30 does not necessarily indicate a healthy weight. Patients who are a healthy weight for their height usually have a BMI between 18.5 and 25. A BMI below 18.5 shows that a person is underweight. A BMI between 25 and 30 shows that a patient is overweight but not yet obese. 

Published By :

British Journal of Haematology

Date :

Nov 28, 2017

Original Title :

Obesity negatively impacts outcome in elderly female patients with aggressive B-cell lymphomas treated with R-CHOP: results from prospective trials of the German high grade non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma trial group.

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