Studies find obesity linked to ‘paradoxical’ results in immunotherapy strategies. 

Being obese is bad for your health, right? Not necessarily, at least when it comes to a very special kind of cancer treatment, according to authors of a perspective piece published in the journal JAMA.

William Murphy, from the University of California Davis, and Dan Longo, from Harvard Medical School, both in the US, point to mounting evidence that for people getting a cancer therapy called “checkpoint blockade”, being on the hefty side could actually increase survival.

It’s a claim that verges on heretical, given the well-deserved bad press garnered by the obesity epidemic. Two-thirds of adults in many developed countries are overweight or obese, raising their risk for a swag of illnesses, including heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure.

The claim also sits uneasily with the fact that obesity ups the risk for some cancers.

So, what is checkpoint blockade, and how might a few extra layers make it work better? Read the full article in Cosmos magazine