Prostate cancer recurrence after surgery is more frequent in men who are obese or have a metabolic syndrome, according to researchers. The results from the study, titled "Obesity and metabolic syndrome correlate with poor oncologic outcome in prostate cancer patients who underwent radical prostatectomy," were presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Special Conference Obesity and Cancer: Mechanisms Underlying Etiology and Outcomes, held Jan. 27-30 in Austin, Texas. Up to 30% of prostate cancer patients who undergo prostate removal (radical prostatectomy) eventually see their disease return. Until now, studies examining the association between body mass index (BMI) and metabolic syndrome with the risk of recurrence following radical prostatectomy have been controversial. A team from the Department of Urology at the Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh aimed to clarify the matter using a more comprehensive analysis. The study involved 1,100 patients who had undergone a radical prostatectomy at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh between 2003 and 2013. Researchers gathered data on patient prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, cancer staging and grading, recurrence time, and measures used to assess metabolic syndrome. A patient's prostate cancer was considered to have returned if he had two PSA measurements of over .2 nanograms per milliliter of blood. Metabolic syndrome is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the presence of three of five factors: insulin resistance, obesity, high cholesterol or low HDL levels, high triglycerides, and hypertension. Patients were grouped as having low-, intermediate- or high-risk prostate cancer. Overall, 34% of patients were obese and 19% had metabolic syndrome. In the high-risk group, 41.2% of patients were obese, and in the low to intermediate group, 32% of patients were obese. Among patients with a high BMI, the recurrence rate nearly doubled that of patients with a lower BMI – 32.4% versus compared to 16.9%. Those with metabolic syndrome had a four times greater chance of their cancer recurring than patients who did not. "Our study indicates that prostate cancer patients who are obese or have metabolic syndrome undergoing radical prostatectomy may have a higher chance for recurrence of the disease, and these individuals should have more focused follow-up care," Arash Samiei, MD, who was part of the research team conducting the study, said in a press release. The findings are particularly significant because "by preventing metabolic syndrome, men with prostate cancer may have a higher chance of a favorable oncological outcome following surgery."