“More than 100 studies have found that physical activity can lower breast cancer risk; the most active women tend to have a 25% lower chance of developing the disease than the least active women. But how does exercise help?
“Christine Friedenreich, scientific leader of cancer epidemiology and prevention research at Alberta Health Services, and her colleagues had identified body fat as a possible pathway to lowering cancer risk. In an earlier study, they found that women exercising 225 minutes a week showed dramatic drops in total body fat, abdominal fat and other adiposity measures.
“That inspired the team to examine more closely the effects of the commonly recommended 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a week on body fat measures. They compared these effects to a doubling of that amount of activity, to 300 minutes a week, to see if more exercise had a greater effect in lowering body fat.”
“Breast cancer survivors with a family history of the disease, including those who carry BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations, gained more weight over the course of four years than cancer-free women—especially if they were treated with chemotherapy, according to a prospective study by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers.
“Data from earlier studies suggest that breast cancer survivors who gain weight may have a higher risk of having their cancer return, the researchers say, noting that gains of 11 pounds or more are also associated with a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
“For the study, the researchers reviewed a baseline questionnaire and a follow-up one completed four years later by 303 breast cancer survivors and 307 cancer-free women enrolled in an ongoing and long-term study at the Kimmel Cancer Center of women with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer. Study participants completed a baseline and at least one follow-up questionnaire between 2005 and 2013, and one-quarter of the subjects were premenopausal.”
The gist: A new drug called anamorelin might help people with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who are dealing with cachexia. Cachexia is loss of weight and muscle mass, and weakness. Anamorelin was tested in a clinical trial with volunteer patients who had advanced NSCLC and were suffering from cachexia. The drug appeared to increase the patients’ “lean body mass and body weight, reduce fatigue and improve health-related quality of life.”
“In ROMANA 1, a pivotal Phase III study, anamorelin was shown to increase lean body mass and body weight, reduce fatigue and improve health-related quality of life in patients with advanced NSCLC cachexia.
“Helsinn Group, the Company focused on building quality cancer care, announces that anamorelin, its investigational novel once-daily ghrelin receptor agonist for the treatment of cancer anorexia-cachexia syndrome (CACS), delivered significant improvements in lean body mass [LBM; one of two primary endpoints] in ROMANA 1, a pivotal 12-week Phase III study in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.
“The results underscore the potential for treatment with anamorelin to support the care of patients with CACS, a poorly-understood and debilitating condition that affects a majority of advanced cancer patients but for which existing treatment approaches are limited.
“In the ROMANA 1 trial, over the course of the study, patients treated with anamorelin demonstrated an increase in body weight along with improvements in patient symptoms and concerns, such as appetite, early satiety and fatigue.”
“Increasing body size had significant associations with 10 common types of cancer, a study involving more than 5 million people showed.
“Overall, body mass index (BMI) had linear associations with the risk of uterine, gallbladder, kidney, cervical, and thyroid cancer, as well as leukemia. The magnitude of excess risk associated with increasing BMI ranged from 9% to 62%.
“BMI had lesser but still positive associations with liver, colon, ovarian, and postmenopausal breast cancer, British investigators reported online in The Lancet.
” ‘Assuming causality, 41% of uterine and 10% or more of gallbladder, kidney, liver, and colon cancers could be attributable to excess weight,’ Krishnan Bhaskaran, MSc, PhD, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and co-authors concluded. ‘We estimated that a 1 kg (2.2 lb) per-meter-squared population-wide increase in BMI would result in 3,790 additional annual U.K. patients developing one of the 10 cancers positively associated with BMI.’ ”
“Almost 40 per cent* of pancreatic cancers – one of the deadliest forms of cancer – could be avoided in the UK through maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking according to Cancer Research UK, in a call to arms against the disease.
“Every year 8,800 people are diagnosed with the disease in the UK but survival rates remain very low, with only three per cent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer surviving their disease for five years or more after their diagnosis.
“Cancer Research UK has made pancreatic cancer research a priority, and has the bold ambition to more than double its annual spend of £6million on research into the disease over the next five years. The charity is investing in fundamental biology investigating how the cancer spreads as well as trials looking at boosting the effectiveness of the standard chemotherapy treatments in pancreatic cancer patients.
“While more research is needed to find better ways of diagnosing and treating the disease, there is evidence to suggest that some pancreatic cancers are linked to being overweight and to smoking – and almost four in 10 could be prevented by lifestyle changes to address this.”