Monday, October 6, 2008

Overweight, Excessive Insulin Secretion and Higher Prostate Cancer Mortality

This time, a men's health topic. A new study from Boston, published in a Lancet Oncology Early Online Publication on October 6, 2008, presented evidence that being overweight, and/or having excessive insulin secretion (as indicated by a high plasma C-peptide concentration), increases the risk for death in prostate cancer.

The study reported on 2546 men who are participants in a Physicians' Health Study of 24 years, and who developed prostate cancer. Patients who started off being overweight or obese a higher risk for death from prostate cancer, compared to normal-weight men Patients who were both obese and who also had high insulin levels had four times the risk compared to controls. The authored cautioned "Further studies are now needed to confirm these findings."

The study confirms previous evidence regarding the relationship between prostate cancer mortality and obesity. Although diabetes is associated with lower risk of prostate cancer, the new study suggests a correlation to high secretion of insulin, which is a characteristic of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is common in overweight and obese people. Despite the complex relationship, being overweight or obese appears to have an all in all bad effect on those who develop prostate cancer.


Ma J, Li H, Giovannucci E, Mucci L, Qiu W, Nguyen PL, Gaziano JM, Pollak M, Stampfer MJ. Prediagnostic body-mass index, plasma C-peptide concentration, and prostate cancer-specific mortality in men with prostate cancer: a long-term survival analysis. Lancet Oncology Early Online Publication. October 6, 2008. (Abstract)

Smith MR, Bae K, Efstathiou JA, Hanks GE, Pilepich MV, Sandler HM, Shipley WU. Diabetes and mortality in men with locally advanced prostate cancer: RTOG 92-02. J Clin Oncol. 2008 Sep 10;26(26):4333-9. [PMID: 18779620] (Abstract)