Immunonutrition before and during radiochemotherapy: improvement of inflammatory parameters in head and neck cancer patients
Inflammatory, angiogenic and oxidative stress markers have been explored in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients before and during radiochemotherapy. Furthermore, the effects of an oral supplementation containing amino acids, ω-3 fatty acids, ribonucleic acids, vitamins, and antioxidants on biological markers and acute toxicities were investigated.
Thirty-one patients with non-metastatic stage III or IV HNSCC treated with concomitant radiochemotherapy were recruited. A nutritional support (Oral Impact®) was given during 5 days before each cycle of chemotherapy. Biological samples were collected at baseline, after 5 days of oral supplementation and before the last cycle of chemotherapy. Acute phase proteins levels, proteomic cytokines determination and urinary isoprostanes levels were used as inflammatory and oxidative stress biomarkers. Toxicities were followed up during radiochemotherapy.
At baseline, median levels of inflammatory (CRP 9.8 mg/l [0.8–130.1], IL-6 4.2 pg/ml [0.7–126.5]), pro-angiogenic (VEGF 229.5 pg/ml [13.1–595.9]) and pro-oxidative stress (urinary isoprostanes 118 pmol/mmol creatinine [51–299]) markers were increased. Decrease in CRP (p = 0.002) and α-1 acid glycoprotein (p = 0.020) levels were observed after 5 days of oral supplementation. During radiochemotherapy, no significant variation of inflammatory markers was reported, and a low incidence of severe acute mucositis was noted.
Stage III or IV HNSCC patients are characterised by a pro-inflammatory, pro-angiogenic and pro-oxidative status. Nutritional support could improve this inflammatory state and could prevent severe acute mucositis.