Prostate Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

AACR 2021: Role of a Healthy Lifestyle in Offsetting Genetic Risks for Prostate Cancer

By: Vanessa A. Carter, BS
Posted: Monday, April 19, 2021

Anna Plym, PhD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, and colleagues investigated whether a healthy lifestyle could offset the inherited genetic factors of prostate cancer. Presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2021 (Abstract 822), their results demonstrated a decreased risk of aggressive disease among patients who maintained a health-promoting lifestyle—healthy weight, vigorous physical activity, no smoking, high consumption of tomatoes and fatty fish, and reduced intake of processed meat.

The genetic risk of prostate cancer was quantified using a validated polygenic risk score for 10,443 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. A validated lifestyle score for lethal prostate cancer was applied, and investigators determined the frequency at which overall and lethal prostate cancer occurred.

At a median follow-up of 18 and 22 years, 2,111 prostate cancer and 238 lethal prostate cancer cases were observed, respectively. The polygenic risk score identified that men in the highest genetic risk quartile had an increased risk of more than fivefold (hazard ratio [HR] = 5.39) for overall prostate cancer and nearly fourfold for lethal prostate cancer (HR = 3.53).

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle significantly correlated with a decreased risk of lethal prostate cancer (HR = 0.54), but it was not associated with a reduced risk of overall prostate cancer (HR = 1.01) among those with the highest risk. Men with the highest genetic risk who practiced a healthy lifestyle at study entry had a lower (3%) lifetime cumulative incidence of prostate cancer than those living the least healthy lifestyle (6%) and similar to the population average (3%).

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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