Obesity is associated with poor outcomes in women with operable breast cancer. Lifestyle interventions (LIs) that help women reduce their weight may improve outcomes.
Patients and Methods
We conducted a multicenter randomized trial comparing mail-based delivery of general health information alone or combined with a 24-month standardized, telephone-based LI that included diet (500 to 1,000 kcal per day deficit) and physical activity (150 to 200 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week) goals to achieve weight loss (up to 10%). Women receiving adjuvant letrozole for T1-3N0-3M0 breast cancer with a body mass index (BMI) ≥ 24 kg/m2 were eligible. Weight was measured in the clinic, and self-report physical activity, quality-of-life (QOL), and diet questionnaires were completed. The primary outcome was disease-free survival. Accrual was terminated at 338 of 2,150 planned patients because of loss of funding.
Mean weight loss was significantly (P < .001) greater in the LI arm versus the comparison arm (4.3 v 0.6 kg or 5.3% v 0.7% at 6 months and 3.1 v 0.3 kg or 3.6% v 0.4% at 24 months) and occurred consistently across strata (BMI 24 to < 30 v ≥ 30 kg/m2; prior v no prior adjuvant chemotherapy). Weight loss was greatest in those with higher baseline levels of moderate-intensity physical activity or improvement in QOL. Hospitalization rates and medical events were similar.
A telephone-based LI led to significant weight loss that was still evident at 24 months, without adverse effects on QOL, hospitalizations, or medical events. Adequately powered randomized trials with cancer end points are needed.