FRIDAY, Dec. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Baseline high body mass index (BMI) is associated with improved survival in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with atezolizumab, according to a study published online Dec. 26 in JAMA Oncology.

Ganessan Kichenadasse, M.B.B.S., from Flinders University in Bedford Park, Australia, and colleagues examined whether BMI is associated with survival outcomes and adverse events among patients with NSCLC in four international, multicenter clinical trials. Data were available for 2,110 patients, of whom 1,434 received atezolizumab and 676 received docetaxel.

The researchers found that in patients treated with atezolizumab, there was a linear association between increasing BMI and overall survival. In patients treated with atezolizumab but not those who received docetaxel, obesity correlated with significantly improved overall survival after adjustment for confounding variables. The strongest correlation between BMI and overall survival/progression-free survival was observed in the high programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression subgroup. For patients with the highest category of PD-L1 expression, overall survival had hazard ratios of 0.36 and 0.69 for the obesity and overweight groups, respectively. For progression-free survival, the corresponding hazard ratios were 0.68 and 0.72. There was no correlation for treatment-related adverse events with BMI.

“Although the present study is a post hoc analysis of data from clinical trials, the results are consistent with those of prior studies suggesting that high BMI is associated with improved survival outcomes with immune checkpoint inhibitors across cancer types, such as melanoma,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to Pfizer.

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