Prostate cancer patients with greater visceral fat volume and density are less likely to experience biochemical recurrence of their cancer following surgery or radiation therapy, researchers reported at the Canadian Urological Association 2016 annual meeting in Vancouver.

Daniel Taussky, MD, and colleagues at Université de Montréal, Québec, randomly selected 201 patients treated with radical prostatectomy or external beam radiation therapy, all of whom had their visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue volumes manually contoured and corresponding tissue densities in Hounsfield units calculated. The median time to biochemical recurrence or last follow-up was 32 months.

In a multivariate model including seminal vesicle involvement, patients with a VAT volume and density values above the median were 2.5 times and 2.4 times less likely to experience biochemical recurrence, respectively, according to the investigators. Adjusting for body mass index did not change the model significantly.

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One possible explanation for the apparent protective effect of visceral fat is that the latter converts testosterone into estrogens, Dr. Taussky noted.

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