Stay Up
to Date
Stay Up
to Date
Breaking News,
Updates, & More
Breaking News,
Updates, & More
Click Here to
Subscribe
Click Here to
Subscribe

Healthy Lifestyle Improves Survival in Patients with Colon Cancer

TON - September 2017, Vol 10, No 5 - Colorectal Cancer, Conference Correspondent
Phoebe Starr

Chicago, IL—Healthcare practitioners can now tell their patients with stage III colon cancer that eating tree nuts (eg, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, and pecans) and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can improve their chances of overall survival as well as recurrence-free survival. Two subanalyses of the CALGB 89803 (now Alliance) study provided strong evidence supporting the survival benefits of these nondrug interventions. Both analyses were presented at the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, and were featured in a premeeting press cast.

CALGB 89803 was a large, prospective trial that compared 2 adjuvant chemotherapy regimens in patients with stage III colon cancer between 1999 and 2001. Embedded in the study was a self-administered questionnaire designed to capture diet and lifestyle factors prospectively during adjuvant therapy and again 6 months later.

“These studies clearly show that in addition to good, standard cancer treatment, which has reduced mortality due to colorectal cancer substantially, what patients eat, drink, and do afterward can make a difference,” stated ASCO President Daniel Hayes, MD, FACP, FASCO, Professor, University of Michigan School of Medicine, Ann Arbor. He also emphasized that healthy lifestyle choices do not replace standard cancer care.

Tree Nut Consumption

The analysis of nut consumption was based on a prospective, observational study of 826 patients, with disease-free survival as the primary end point. Patients who consumed ≥2 servings of tree nuts per week had a 42% reduced risk for recurrence, and a 57% reduced risk for death compared with patients who did not (P = .03 and P = .01, respectively).

In patients who reported a consumption of ≥1 weekly servings of tree nuts, the risk for recurrence was reduced by 46% (P = .04), and risk for death was reduced by 53% (P = .04) compared with patients who did not. The benefit did not extend to the consumption of peanuts or soy nuts, which have different metabolic compositions compared with tree nuts.

“Patients with advanced disease who benefit from chemotherapy frequently ask what else they can do to reduce their chances of disease recurrence or death, and our study is an important contribution to the idea that modifying diet and physical activity may be beneficial,” said lead investigator Temidayo Fadelu, MD, Clinical Fellow in Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA.

Lifestyle Intervention

A separate subanalysis of 992 patients with stage III colon cancer enrolled in CALGB 89803 found that those who had the highest lifestyle scores enjoyed a 42% reduced risk for death (P = .01) and a trend toward reduced risk for recurrence (P = .03) compared with those reporting the lowest lifestyle scores. Lifestyle scores were calculated according to adherence to the American Cancer Society nutrition and physical ac­tivity guidelines. Components of the American Cancer Society guidelines were body mass index, physical activity, and dietary intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and red or processed meats. Scores ranged from 0 to 6, with higher scores reflecting healthier behaviors. A score of 5 to 6 was considered the highest, and 0 to 1 the lowest.

At a median follow-up of 7 years, 91 survivors had the highest healthy lifestyle scores (5-6 points) compared with 262 survivors with the lowest healthy lifestyle scores (0-1 points).

Alcohol consumption was also protective if it was low to moderate (limited to 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men). When alcohol was included in the score, those with the highest scores had a 51% reduced risk for death (P = .002) and a 36% reduced risk for recurrence (P = .05) compared with those with the lowest scores.

“Colon cancer patients with a healthy body weight who engaged in physical activity, ate a diet high in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, and low in red or processed meats, and had moderate alcohol intake had longer recurrence-free and overall survival than patients who did not engage in these behaviors,” said lead investigator Erin Van Blarigan, ScD, Assistant Professor, Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Urology, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California San Francisco.

Related Items
Adjuvant Abemaciclib plus Endocrine Therapy Game-Changer in High-Risk, HR-Positive, HER2-Negative Early Breast Cancer
Phoebe Starr
Web Exclusives published on November 3, 2020 in ESMO 2020
Atezolizumab, Vemurafenib, and Cobimetinib Triplet Therapy Improves PFS in BRAF-Positive Melanoma
Phoebe Starr
Web Exclusives published on August 17, 2020 in AACR Highlights
Immunotherapy Doubles Progression-Free Survival in Subset of Patients with Advanced Colorectal Cancer
Charlie Dawson
TON - August 2020, Vol 13, No 4 published on August 14, 2020 in Colorectal Cancer
Why Is COVID-19 More Aggressive in Certain Patients with Cancer?
Phoebe Starr
TOP - July 2020, Vol 13, No 4 published on July 15, 2020 in AACR Highlights
ctDNA May Be a Biomarker for Postsurgery MRD Positivity and Relapse in Patients with NSCLC
Phoebe Starr
TOP - July 2020, Vol 13, No 4 published on July 15, 2020 in AACR Highlights
Atezolizumab, Vemurafenib, and Cobimetinib Triplet Therapy Improves PFS in BRAF-Positive Melanoma
Phoebe Starr
TOP - July 2020, Vol 13, No 4 published on July 15, 2020 in AACR Highlights
Two Ways to Target Tumors with KRAS Mutations
Phoebe Starr
TOP - July 2020, Vol 13, No 4 published on July 15, 2020 in AACR Highlights
First-in-Class Oral MK-6482 Shows Exciting Results in Clear-Cell Renal-Cell Carcinoma
Phoebe Starr
TON - June 2020, Vol 13, No 3 published on June 16, 2020 in Renal-Cell Carcinoma
Sitravatinib, Novel TKI, plus Nivolumab Elicits Good Responses in Renal-Cell Carcinoma
Phoebe Starr
TON - June 2020, Vol 13, No 3 published on June 16, 2020 in Renal-Cell Carcinoma
I-SPY 2: Durvalumab plus Olaparib and Paclitaxel Triplet in High-Risk Breast Cancer “Graduates” to Phase 3 Study
Phoebe Starr
TON - June 2020, Vol 13, No 3 published on June 16, 2020 in AACR Highlights, Breast Cancer
Last modified: April 27, 2020