Obesity Results in Worse Survival for Childhood Leukemia

Children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) have significantly worse survival if they are obese, compared to their counterparts. These results were recently published in the journal Blood.

Leukemia is the most common type of childhood cancer in the United States. It is a cancer that originates in certain immune cells and often requires aggressive therapy.

Obesity has become a variable being studied as it relates to outcomes in many different types of cancer. Research has indicated that patients who are overweight often have worse outcomes than patients who are not obese in some cancers.

Researchers recently conducted a clinical study to further evaluate obesity and how it relates to outcomes among children with ALL. The study included nearly 200 children treated with the Children’s Oncology Group induction regimen (initial therapy).

Children who were obese had nearly a 3-times risk of poorer outcomes than their leaner counterparts.
These results add to a growing body of evidence that obesity affects outcomes among patients with cancer.

Reference: Orgel E, Tucci J, Alhushki W, et al. Obesity is associated with residual leukemia following induction therapy for childhood B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Blood; 2014. DOI: