Dr Alina Vrieling (Health Evidence) has received a KWF grant (573,500 euro) for a project entitled "Body composition in renal cell cancer: associations with survival outcomes, tumor characteristics, lifestyle habits, and circulating biomarkers", together with Prof. Ellen Kampman (Wageningen University, Health Evidence) and Prof. Peter Mulders (Urology).
Excess body weight, expressed as body mass index (BMI) ≥25 kg/m2, is an important risk factor for renal cell cancer (RCC). More than 60% of RCC patients present with excess body weight and suffer from obesity-related comorbidities. In contrast, excess body weight has been associated with improved recurrence-free, cancer-specific, and overall survival in RCC patients. However, BMI cannot distinguish between amount and quality of adipose tissue and skeletal muscle, nor between visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue and adherent perinephric fat. We hypothesize that body composition features better predict RCC prognosis than BMI, and are potential targets for tertiary prevention. To date, this has not been adequately studied. In this project, we will first evaluate the association of (changes in) body composition features with RCC recurrence and survival. This will help in identifying whether trials should focus on e.g. skeletal muscle or visceral adipose tissue, or on a combination. Subsequently, we will identify if (changes in) body composition features in RCC patients are related to lifestyle habits (e.g. dietary energy and protein intake, physical activity), and can thus be influenced, or if they primarily reflect severity of the disease or patient characteristics. Lastly, we will assess whether circulating adipokines are related to (changes in) body composition features in RCC patients and can serve as intermediate biomarkers in tertiary prevention trials. Our ultimate aim is to provide RCC patients with personalized advice about weight management to improve their prognosis.
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