A newly published study in ‘Gynecologic Oncology’ has brought to light the complex relationship between obesity and survival outcomes for patients diagnosed with endometrial cancer. The research, spearheaded by Anne A. Van Arsdale and her colleagues at Montefiore Medical Center, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, highlights intriguing findings that may change the way medical professionals approach patient management and treatment strategy for this demographic.


Endometrial cancer, originating from the lining of the uterus, represents a significant health risk for women globally. Known risk factors include age, genetics, and, notably, obesity, which has been widely recognized as a catalyst for increased cancer risk due to its prevalence and association with hormonal imbalances.

Study Design

Van Arsdale et al.’s investigation, titled “Association of obesity with survival in patients with endometrial cancer,” dives into the question of how obesity affects patient survival rates after a cancer diagnosis. This retrospective cohort study assessed medical records of 1,732 women treated for endometrial cancer between 1999 and 2016. With proper IRB (Institutional Review Board) approval, researchers carefully examined clinical outcomes alongside a range of variables such as histopathological details, demographic data, and treatment specifics, culminating in death verification via the Social Security Death Index.


The study highlighted that obesity indeed affects when and how endometrial cancer presents. Strikingly, there’s an apparent linear trend signaling that with increasing obesity, diagnosis tends to occur at a younger age—a piece of critical knowledge that could enhance early detection efforts.

The researchers established that obesity was linked to earlier-stage disease at diagnosis. Intriguingly, the data showed an improved disease-specific survival rate (the survival without the specific disease) for patients with stage 3 and 4 non-endometrioid endometrial cancers who were classed as obese. This counterintuitive result seems to draw a line between obesity’s role in cancer development versus its impact post-diagnosis.

Methodology and Analysis

The team utilized Kaplan-Meier survival curves to display survival probabilities over time for different weight classifications. Cox regression modeling provided insights into the various factors that could influence survival, ensuring a rigorous statistical evaluation.

Implications and Further Questions

If validated, these findings suggest that medical practitioners must adopt a nuanced view when considering obesity in endometrial cancer patient prognostics. Future research could explore the biological mechanisms that afford this unexpected survival advantage to obese patients with advanced cancer stages and determine whether this holds true across different populations.

The study, funded partially by NIH Grant P30 CA013330, is an important addition to oncologic literature and provides substantial grounds for both reflection and further inquiry into cancer survival dynamics.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2019.03.258


1. Van Arsdale, A. A., Miller, D. T., Kuo, D. Y., Isani, S., Sanchez, L., & Nevadunsky, N. S. (2019). Association of obesity with survival in patients with endometrial cancer. Gynecologic Oncology, 154(1), 156-162.
2. Fader, A. N., Arriba, L. N., Frasure, H. E., & von Gruenigen, V. E. (2009). Endometrial cancer and obesity: epidemiology, biomarkers, prevention and survivorship. Gynecologic Oncology, 114(1), 121-127.
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4. Modesitt, S. C., & van Nagell, J. R. (2005). The impact of obesity on the incidence and treatment of gynecologic cancers: a review. Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey, 60(10), 683-692.
5. Arem, H., & Irwin, M. L. (2013). A review of web-based weight loss interventions in adults. Obesity Reviews, 14(5), 368-377.


1. Obesity Endometrial Cancer Survival
2. Endometrial Cancer Treatment Outcomes
3. Impact of Obesity on Cancer Prognosis
4. Weight Loss and Cancer Management
5. Non-endometrioid Endometrial Cancer


A study published in ‘Gynecologic Oncology’ provides new insights into the association between obesity and survival rates in patients with endometrial cancer. Researchers discovered that obese individuals are diagnosed at a younger age and have improved outcomes for certain advanced cancer stages. This research emphasizes the need for a multifaceted approach to patient treatment and furthers the conversation on how obesity impacts cancer survival.