in Washington, DC, on October 31 and November 1, 2011. At the workshop, experts presented the latest clinical evidence on the obesity–cancer link and the molecular mechanisms that might explain that link. Clinicians, researchers, cancer survivors, and policy makers also discussed potential interventions to counter the effects of obesity on cancer, and research and policy measures needed to stem the rising tide of cancer mortality predicted by an increasingly overweight and older population worldwide. More specifically, the workshop explored:

•   The complex web of molecular mechanisms that underlie the obesity–cancer link and whether it is obesity itself, the energy imbalance that leads to obesity, or the molecular pathways that are deregulated due to obesity, that increases the risk of cancer initiation or progression;

•   Clinical evidence of the obesity link to cancer incidence and outcomes and study design issues that may affect the strength of that evidence and its interpretation, as well as ways to design future studies to acquire the information needed to guide patient care;

•   Potential interventions to counter or prevent obesity effects and/or restore energy balance, including lifestyle measures, as well as drug and surgical therapies;

•   What to advise cancer patients about weight loss, diet, exercise, and other measures to reduce their risk of cancer progression or recurrence, and the challenges in inducing healthy behaviors; and

•   Policy suggestions related to research, education, and dissemination of the findings on obesity and cancer, as well as what the private and public sectors can do to help break the obesity–cancer link.

This document is a summary of the workshop. The views expressed in this summary are those of the speakers and discussants, as attributed to them, and are not the consensus views of workshop participants or the members of the NCPF.


limited to identification of topics and speakers. This workshop summary was prepared by the rapporteurs as a factual summary of the presentations and discussions that took place at the workshop. Statements, recommendations, and opinions expressed are those of individual presenters and participants, and are not necessarily endorsed or verified by the Forums or the National Academies, and they should not be construed as reflecting any group consensus.

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