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Nutrition intervention improves outcomes in patients with cancer cachexia receiving chemotherapy—a pilot study

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Abstract

Goals of the work

The aim of this study was to examine the effect of nutrition intervention on outcomes of dietary intake, body composition, nutritional status, functional capacity and quality of life in patients with cancer cachexia receiving chemotherapy.

Patients and methods

Patients received weekly counselling by a dietitian and were advised to consume a protein- and energy-dense oral nutritional supplement with eicosapentaenoic acid for 8 weeks. The medical oncologist determined the chemotherapy protocol. Eight patients enrolled and seven completed the study.

Main results

There were significant improvements in total protein intake (median change 0.3 g/kg per day, range −0.1 to 0.8 g/kg per day), total energy intake (median change 36 kJ/kg per day, range −2 to 82 kJ/kg per day), total fibre intake (median change 6.3 g/day, range −3.4 to 20.1 g/day), nutritional status (patient-generated subjective global assessment score, median change 9, range −5 to 17), Karnofsky performance status (median change 10, range 0–30) and quality of life (median change 16.7, range 0–33.3). There were clinically significant improvements in weight (median change 2.3 kg; range −2.7 to 4.5 kg) and lean body mass (median change 4.4 kg, range −4.4 to 4.7 kg), although these were not statistically significant. Change in nutritional status was significantly associated with change in quality of life, change in Karnofsky performance status and change in lean body mass.

Conclusions

Nutrition intervention together with chemotherapy improved outcomes in patients with pancreatic and non-small-cell lung cancer over 8 weeks. Supplement intake does not inhibit meal intake.

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Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge the support of The Wesley Research Institute (grant no. WRI-NR1-2000) and Ross Abbott Laboratories (study product). We are also grateful to Ms. Beverley Gallagher for assistance with data collection.

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Correspondence to Judith D. Bauer.

Additional information

This work was presented as a poster at the 16th MASCC International Symposium, Miami, 2004.

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Bauer, J.D., Capra, S. Nutrition intervention improves outcomes in patients with cancer cachexia receiving chemotherapy—a pilot study. Support Care Cancer 13, 270–274 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-004-0746-7

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