Contrary to the previous study results, researchers from University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) have found that ovarian cancer survival rates are the same for obese and non-obese women if their chemotherapy doses are closely matched to individual weight.
Previous studies had revealed that obese women have lower ovarian cancer survival rates.
"Often chemotherapy dosing is calculated using 'ideal' body weight as a guide," said Dr Kellie Matthews, a UAB gynecologic oncologist and lead author on the new study.
"We found using actual body weight works best, and it wipes away much of the difference in survival rates between obese and non-obese patients," she added.
During the study, the researchers reviewed the medical records of 304 patients diagnosed with an aggressive form of the disease called epithelial ovarian cancer.
Patients were of similar cancer stage and grade, and all had surgery followed by chemo.
They found when actual body weight was used in chemo dosing the overall survival was 40 months for non-obese patients and 47 months for obese patients, not a significant difference.
Similar outcomes are seen in obese and non-obese cancer survivors
The study authors said that while it was possible to follow this formula and remove obesity as a negative indicator for ovarian cancer survival, obesity still puts women at increased risk for complications related to cancer surgery, such as greater blood loss and stubborn-to-heal incisions.
The results are published online in the journal Gynecologic Oncology.