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Although the study was conducted in mice, Dr Smaldone noted that the results are clinically relevant.

“Obesity is clearly an epidemic and has been linked to a more aggressive phenotype of prostate cancer,” Dr Smaldone said. “These results are provocative and provide new avenues for exploring novel cancer therapeutics.”

The article by Chen et al is only the latest in a series of studies drawing attention to the importance of diet in prostate cancer development. Another recent study showed, for example, that patients taking a lower dose of abiraterone with a low-fat meal — as opposed to on an empty stomach — had a greater effect on prostate-specific antigen response.3

The connection between diet, lifestyle, and disease progression is something that most physicians should be addressing with their patients with prostate cancer, though Dr Smaldone added that it is not done nearly enough. “Physicians should be addressing patients’ daily behaviors in their clinic,” he said.

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“Patients often ask if there is a specific diet they should try once diagnosed with prostate cancer. I tell them while there is no specific cancer prevention diet, healthy behaviors and diet modification are important for their general health.”


  1. Chen M, Zhang J, Sampieri K, et al. An aberrant SREBP-dependent lipogenic program promotes metastatic prostate cancer. Nature Genetics. 2018;50:206-18. doi: 10.1038/s41588-017-0027-2
  2. Abate-Shen C. Prostate cancer metastasis – fueled by fat? N Engl J Med. 2018378:1643-5. doi: 10.1056/NEJMcibr1800808
  3. Szmulewitz RZ, Peer CJ, Ibraheem A, et al. Prospective international randomized phase II study of low-dose abiraterone with food versus standard dose abiraterone in castration-resistant prostate cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2018 Mar 28. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2017.76.4381 [Epub ahead of print]