City of Hope/Women’s Health Initiative Study Shows Low-Fat Diet Significantly Reduced Risk of Death after Breast Cancer but Same Effect Was Not Seen for Other Cancers

Published: Jun 01, 2018

The long-term results of this study will be presented at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting
 

DUARTE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Women who consumed a low-fat diet had a significantly reduced risk of death after breast cancer. However, women with other cancers who were also on a low-fat diet did not experience the same effect, according to new results from the Women’s Health Initiative Dietary Modification trial that will be discussed at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in Chicago, June 1 to 5.

In order to determine the effects of a low-fat dietary pattern on cancer outcomes, Rowan Chlebowski M.D., Ph.D., a research professor with City of Hope's Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research, and colleagues from the Women’s Health Initiative conducted additional analyses of a randomized primary cancer prevention clinical trial.

For the trial, 48,835 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 years were randomly assigned to a low-fat diet; about 19,600 women were part of this group, and a nutritionist instructed them on how to reduce their fat intake to 20 percent of their daily calories, as well as eat more fruits, vegetables and grains. In the other group, approximately 29,300 women were taught about good nutrition and a healthy diet but they did not have to change their eating habits.

Women on the low-fat diet continued it for 8.5 years; they also continued to have contact with a nutritionist. The study’s results are now being reported after 17.7 years cumulative follow-up.

After long-term follow-up, women randomly assigned to a low-fat dietary pattern had a significantly reduced risk of death after breast cancer (hazard ratio [HR] 0.85 95% CI 0.74-0.99, P = 0.03); a favorable effect was more likely in those with evidence of central obesity (>= 88cm waist circumference) who had lost some weight as part of the diet.

“The dietary intervention was successful in significantly reducing dietary fat intake with an associated reduction in weight of about 5 pounds,” Chlebowski said. “Such a modest reduction in fat intake with minimal weight loss represents an easily achievable goal for many women, and one that can have significant health benefits.”

However, there was no reduction in cancer mortality among women who were on the low-fat diet and had colon and rectum, ovarian and endometrium cancers (HR 0.94 95% CI 0.83—1.08, P= 0.40).

“It could be that the influence of the low-fat dietary pattern on breast cancer may reflect the more common role of progestins as drivers of breast cancer progression,” Chlebowski said.

Chlebowski will present the research on Sunday, June 3, 8 to 11 a.m., at an oral abstract session at the ASCO Annual Meeting, which each year attracts more than 38,000 oncology professionals and others who attend the conference to learn about the latest scientific research on cancer treatment, detection and prevention.

In addition to Chlebowski’s study, other City of Hope research being presented at the conference includes:

Tweets, Posts and Snaps: Starting Down the Social Media Pathway
Mina S. Sedrak, M.D., M.S., will discuss “Leveraging Social Media to Advance Cancer Research: Challenges and Opportunities” during an educational session on Saturday, June 2, 8 to 9:15 a.m.

Progress Through Collaboration: ASCO and FDA’s Efforts to Improve the Evidence Base for Treating Older Adults With Cancer
Arti Hurria, M.D., City of Hope’s George Tsai Family Chair in Geriatric Oncology and director of Center for Cancer and Aging, will discuss “Addressing the Evidence Gap for Older Adults With Cancer: Progress and Challenges” at an educational session on Saturday, June 2, 8 to 9:15 a.m.

Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) risk with daratumumab (Dara) therapy post allogeneic transplantation (alloHCT) for multiple myeloma (MM)
Liana Nikolaenko, M.D., an assistant clinical professor in City of Hope’s Department of Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, will present a poster on this topic on Monday, June 4, 8 to 11:30 a.m.

Brentuximab vedotin with chemotherapy for stage III or IV Hodgkin lymphoma (HL): Impact of cycle 2 PET result on modified progression-free survival (mPFS)
Robert W. Chen, M.D., associate director of City of Hope’s Toni Stephenson Lymphoma Center and an associate professor in the Department of Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, will present a poster on this topic on Monday, June 4, 8 to 11:30 a.m.

Association between participation in religious activities and depression and anxiety in older patients with cancer
Yu Cao, M.D., will present a poster on this topic Monday, June 4, 1:15 to 4:45 p.m.

About City of Hope

City of Hope is an independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Designated as one of only 49 comprehensive cancer centers, the highest recognition bestowed by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is also a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, with research and treatment protocols that advance care throughout the world. City of Hope’s main campus is in Duarte, California, just northeast of Los Angeles, with additional locations throughout Southern California. It is ranked as one of "America's Best Hospitals" in cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a pioneer in the fields of bone marrow transplantation, diabetes and numerous breakthrough cancer drugs based on technology developed at the institution. For more information about City of Hope, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

 

Contacts

City of Hope
Letisia Marquez
626-476-7593
lemarquez@coh.org

 

Source: City of Hope
 

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