Prevalence and clinical implications of #sarcopenic obesity in patients with solid tumours of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts: a population-based study

Emerging evidence on body composition suggests that sarcopenic obesity (obesity with depleted muscle mass) might be predictive of morbidity and mortality in non-malignant disease and also of toxicity to chemotherapy..

..Available lumbar CT images of the obese patients were analysed for total skeletal muscle cross-sectional area; these values were also used to estimate total body fat-free mass (FFM)..

..Sarcopenic obesity was associated with poorer functional status compared with obese patients who did not have sarcopenia (p=0·009), and was an independent predictor of survival (hazard ratio [HR] 4·2 [95% CI 2·4–7·2], p<0·0001). Estimated FFM showed a poor association with body-surface area ( r 2=0·37). Assuming that FFM represents the volume of distribution of many cytotoxic chemotherapy drugs, we estimated that individual variation in FFM could account for up to three-times variation in effective volume of distribution for chemotherapy administered per unit body-surface area, in this population.


This study provides evidence of the great variability of body composition in patients with cancer and links body composition, especially sarcopenic obesity, to clinical implications such as functional status, survival, and potentially, chemotherapy toxicity.