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David S. Ettinger, MD, FACP, FCCP


Baseline Body Mass Index and Outcomes in Chemoimmunotherapy-Treated Lung Cancer

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2022

According to research presented in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer, there does not appear to be a correlation between the baseline body mass index (BMI) of patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and the clinical outcomes they experience from first-line chemoimmunotherapy combinations. This finding appears to differ from previous findings linking increased BMI to improved outcomes following immune checkpoint inhibitor treatment.

“Our findings suggest that, in contrast to what has been reported in the context of single-agent [immune checkpoint inhibitors], baseline BMI should not be taken into consideration when counseling patients with [non–small cell lung cancer] for a first-line chemoimmunotherapy,” concluded Alessio Cortellini, MD, of Imperial College London, and colleagues.

The international multicenter study included 853 patients with stage IV NSCLC who had consecutively received first-line chemoimmunotherapy. Although median overall survival varied significantly across underweight (BMI < 18.5 kg/m2; 15.5 months), normal-weight (BMI ≤ 18.5 18.5 kg/m; 14.6 months), overweight (BMI ≤ 25 18.5 kg/m2; 20.9 months), and obese-weight (BMI ≥ 30 18.5 kg/m2; 16.8 months) groups, median progression-free survival was comparable across all groups. No meaningful association was identified between baseline BMI and either overall survival or progression-free survival.

As determined by BMI, 5.3% of patients were underweight; 46.4% were of normal weight; 33.8% were overweight; and 14.5% were obese. Patients who were overweight or obese were more likely to be at least aged 70, had no history of smoking, had a higher Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, and had fewer instances of metastasis across the central nervous system and/or liver.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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