A Cleveland Clinic landmark study on obesity and cancer, led by Dr Ali Aminian, director of Cleveland Clinic’s Bariatric & Metabolic Institute, was recognized with a 2023 Top Ten Clinical Research Achievement Award by the Clinical Research Forum (CR Forum). The award-winning paper, the SPLENDID study that was published in JAMA, also received an additional recognition as a Distinguished Clinical Research Awardee.
“We are deeply honoured and humbled to receive this prestigious recognition from the CR Forum,” commented Aminian. “If we help our patients to lose large amount of weight, we can prevent health consequences of obesity including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.”
Aminian, lead author of the landmark SPLENDID study, accepted one of the top three awards among ten awardees in Washington, D.C. The SPLENDID (Surgical Procedures and Long-term Effectiveness in Neoplastic Disease Incidence and Death) research is a cohort study of more than 30,000 Cleveland Clinic patients.
Study results showed that weight loss achieved with bariatric surgery was associated with a 32% lower risk of developing cancer and a 48% lower risk of dying from cancer compared with patients with obesity who did not undergo weight loss surgery. The study also showed that as weight loss increased, cancer risk reduced further.
The Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Awards honour ground-breaking achievements in clinical research from across the US. The competition seeks to identify major advances in the biomedical field resulting from the nation’s investment in health and welfare. The Top 10 award recipients are selected by a CR Forum panel from among clinical research studies published in peer-reviewed journals in 2022. They are based on the degree of innovation and novelty involved in the advancement of science; contribution to the understanding of human disease and/or physiology; and potential impact upon the diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of disease.
The research was nominated for the CR Forum Award by Dr Stanton Gerson, Dean of the School of Medicine and Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs at Case Western Reserve University.
“Given the growing worldwide epidemic of obesity, these findings have considerable public health implications indicating obesity is a ‘reversible’ risk factor for cancer,” said Gerson, who also directs the school’s National Center for Regenerative Medicine. “Current guidelines recommend lifestyle modification, but this study suggests that instead of focusing on lifestyle modification only, treating obesity with effective and long-lasting therapies may turn out to be the cornerstone of cancer prevention strategies in the future.”
Cleveland Clinic’s Bariatric & Metabolic Institute reached a milestone in 2022 under Aminian’s leadership, with more than 1,000 successful bariatric surgery procedures in one year.