Intensive nutritional care for patients treated with radiotherapy in head and neck cancer: a randomized study and meta-analysis
Nutritional care improves quality of life (QOL) in head and neck cancer patients treated with radiotherapy. The aim of our study was to determine whether intensive nutritional care (INC) would further improve QOL. In addition to a control group based on European and American guidelines, patients included in the INC group received six meetings with a dietitian. QOL was measured after radiotherapy using the EORTC QLQ-C30. We performed a meta-analysis to determine the best nutritional care. In the 87 patients, the QOL scores, weight, energy, and protein intakes were similar between the INC group (n = 43) and the control group (n = 44). The meta-analysis revealed no heterogeneity and significant differences in QOL (three studies) (p = 0.46) or weight changes after radiotherapy (four studies) (p = 0.06). The nutritional care specified in the European and American guidelines is composed of well-defined recommendations, and appears sufficient to maintain QOL without further intervention.
KeywordsMalnutrition Quality of life Head and neck neoplasms Radiotherapy
We thank the “Fondation de France,” “Ligue contre le cancer,” and Caen University Hospital for their financial support. We are grateful to all the dietetics department and Ghislaine Mevielle for data collection.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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