(HealthDay News) — For patients with stage III colon cancer, nut intake, specifically tree nut intake, is associated with reduced incidence of cancer recurrence and mortality, according to a study published online Feb. 28 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Temidayo Fadelu, M.D., from Dana-Farber/Partners CancerCare in Boston, and colleagues conducted a prospective observational study involving 826 eligible patients with stage III colon cancer to examine the correlation of nut intake with cancer recurrence and mortality. Participants reported dietary intake using food frequency questionnaires while enrolled in an adjuvant chemotherapy trial.

After a median follow-up of 6.5 years, the researchers found that individuals who consumed two or more servings of nuts per week had adjusted hazard ratios of 0.58 for disease-free survival and 0.43 for overall survival, compared with patients who abstained from nuts. The apparent benefit was confined to tree nut intake in subgroup analysis (hazard ratios for disease-free and overall survival, 0.54 and 0.47, respectively). The correlation was maintained across other known or suspected risk factors for cancer recurrence and mortality.

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“Diets with a higher consumption of nuts may be associated with a significantly reduced incidence of cancer recurrence and death in patients with stage III colon cancer,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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