Conference Coverage

High Visceral Fat Area Not Associated With Poorer Survival in Patients with Metastatic Breast Cancer Receiving Bevacizumab and Paclitaxel

The authors of a recent study that was presented at the 2022 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium found that high visceral fat area (VFA), which has been shown to independently predict poorer outcomes in patients given first-line bevacizumab-based treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer and metastatic renal cell carcinoma, was not associated with poorer overall survival (OS) in patients with metastatic breast cancer receiving bevacizumab and paclitaxel as a first-line treatment.

Visceral fat is fat found deep within the abdominal cavity. Measuring a patient’s VFA can be important because obesity has previously been correlated with poorer survival in both early and metastatic breast cancer.

The researchers retrospectively measured VFA and subcutaneous fat area (SFA) in those enrolled in the prospective, multicenter COMET trial, which included patients with metastatic HER2 negative breast cancer who received bevacizumab and paclitaxel as first-line chemotherapy. Out of the 510 patients included in the COMET trial from September 2012 to March 2016, 480 received bevacizumab and paclitaxel as first-line treatment, and 360 had available computed tomography scan data. Researchers tested VFA and SFA levels for their association with progression-free survival (PFS) and OS, and its impact on quality of life, which was based on Global Health Status, physical functioning, emotional functioning, and fatigue and pain scores.

In their cohort of patients (n = 360), the median body mass index (BMI) was 24.7, and after a median follow-up of 60.6 months (95% CI, 60 to 61.3), the median PFS was 9.5 months (95% CI, 8.6 to 10.3).

The researchers found no significant correlation between BMI (p = 0.69), VFA (p = 0.24), or SFA (p = 0.58) and PFS in their univariate analysis. The median OS was 29.6 months (95% CI, 25.9 to 32.4), but BMI, VFA, and SFA were not correlated with OS. Out of the 360 patients, 328 had available data regarding the quality of life, but the researchers found that there was no impact of the VFA or the SFA on the different quality of life scores.

“In our prospective cohort of 360 patients with metastatic breast cancer receiving bevacizumab and paclitaxel as first-line treatment, high VFA or high SFA were not associated with a poorer survival,” the researchers concluded.


-Anthony Calabro



Guiu S, Guiu B, Chevrier M, et al. Visceral fat area as a predictive factor in metastatic HER2 negative breast cancer patients treated by first line chemotherapy with weekly paclitaxel and bevacizumab. Paper presented at: San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium; December 6-10, 2022; San Antonio, TX. Accessed December 6, 2022.