Obesity and Cancer: Mechanisms Underlying Etiology and Outcomes

Continuing Medical Education (CME)

Accreditation Statement
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education activities for physicians.

Credit Designation Statement
AACR has designated this live activity for a maximum of 16.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Credit certification for individual sessions may vary, dependent upon compliance with the ACCME Accreditation Criteria. The final number of credits may vary from the maximum number indicated above.

Claiming (CME) Credit
Physicians and other health care professionals seeking AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM for this live continuing medical education activity must complete the CME Request for Credit Survey by Tuesday, March 13. (The link will be posted below prior to the conference.) Certificates will only be issued to those who complete the survey. Your CME certificate will be sent to you via email after the completion of the activity.


Statement of Educational Need, Target Audience, and Learning Objectives 
The National Cancer Institute and the New England Journal of Medicine report that higher levels of body fat are associated with increased risk of several cancers. Worldwide incidence of excess body weight/obesity has increased from 56% to 70% in the past 30 years. In the same time period, the percentage of overweight/obese children and adolescents has increased from 10% to 17%. Obesity also affects survivorship, as it can lead to poor quality of life, increased risk of recurrence, progression, and have a negative impact on prognosis.

Individuals who are obese/overweight have an increased risk of the following cancers: Endometrial, breast, ovarian, gastric cardia, liver, kidney, pancreatic, colorectal, gallbladder, thyroid cancers, meningioma, esophageal adenocarcinoma, and multiple myeloma. According to large cohort studies – some that will be reported on in this conference – incidence of these cancers is often times twice to four times more likely in obese individuals. Research is currently being conducted as to how the two are linked; this knowledge is crucial to slowing the incidence of obesity-related cancers.

Current research links excess body fat to increased blood insulin, altered insulin pathway signaling, and insulin resistance, which in turn causes fatty liver disease, hyperglycemia, type 2 diabetes, promoting development of liver, kidney, prostate, and colorectal cancers. Imbalances in the gut microbiota are associated with inflammation, which has been linked to esophageal, gallbladder, and liver cancers. Inflammation in fat tissue has also been shown to produce excess estrogen, which has been linked to breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers. Additionally, fat cells produce other hormones, called adipokines, which promote abnormal proliferation, which has been linked to pancreatic cancer and multiple myeloma. The researchers at this conference will speak to these connections, helping to bridge the gap between the discoveries that are underway in the lab and their application to clinical practice.

The epidemiology of obesity prevalence is also of keen interest, as obesity rates differ among racial and ethnic groups. Several of the speakers at this conference will present research and perspective on why there exists variation in the association of obesity and cancer risk, between men and women, or different racial groups, or different world populations, and consequently, what clinicians can do to recognize and ease the disparities.

For physicians to best aid patients, the most effective approach will be prevention, and physicians must have a solid and current understanding of both the epidemiology and the new advances taking place in the lab that can eventually be applied to the clinic to prevent obesity-related cancers and prevent disparities in various racial/ethnic groups.

This conference will bring together top basic, translational, and clinical researchers in the field to discuss recent findings in genomics/epigenomics, developmental biology, immune therapies, and cellular mechanisms and how these translate into new therapeutic approaches for childhood cancers. The conference will also address the opportunities and challenges in pediatric oncology translational science and clinical trials

After participating in this CME activity, physicians should be able to:

  1. Interpret literature evidence linking obesity and cancer
  2. Identify and articulate the link between insulin resistance, obesity and cancer
  3. Detect mechanisms linking obesity with certain cancers
  4. Explain the role of the gut, microbiome, and metabolomics in obesity and cancer
  5. Explain the role of inflammation in obesity and the implications on development of cancer
  6. Integrate prevention techniques in order to slow the increasing rate of obesity and obesity-related cancer prevalence
  7. Provide guidance to patients on preventing obesity and obesity-related cancer

Disclosure Statement
It is the policy of the AACR that the information presented at AACR CME activities will be unbiased and based on scientific evidence. To help participants make judgments about the presence of bias, AACR will provide information that Scientific Program Committee members and speakers have disclosed about financial relationships they have with commercial entities that produce or market products or services related to the content of this CME activity. This disclosure information will be made available in the Program/Proceedings of this conference.

Acknowledgement of Financial or Other Support
This activity is supported by grants and will be disclosed at the activity.

Questions about CME?
Please contact the Office of CME at (215) 440-9300 or