Elemental diet falls short of reducing chemo-induced adverse events

19 Mar 2021
Elemental diet falls short of reducing chemo-induced adverse events

As a nutritional support, the amino acid-rich elemental diet does nothing to reduce the incidence of adverse events associated with receipt of docetaxel, cisplatin, and 5-fluorouracil-containing (DCF) chemotherapy in patients with oesophageal cancer, a study has found.

The study included 71 patients aged 20–80 years with oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma, stage IB-IV disease, and scheduled to receive DCF chemotherapy. All of them had performance status of 0–2 and oral intake ability.

The patients were divided into two groups: the elemental supplementary group (n=36) and the control group (n=35). The former received the intervention (160 g/day) orally 9 weeks after the start of chemotherapy. Efficacy was evaluated using gastrointestinal toxicity. The incidence of all adverse events and nutritional status were also evaluated.

Grade 2 or higher gastrointestinal toxicity occurred with similar frequency in the elemental and control groups. The same was true for all grade 3 or 4 adverse events, which showed no significant between-group difference.

However, elemental diet supplementation conferred benefits for other outcomes. Specifically, compared with patients in the control group, those who received nutritional support tended to maintain their body weight (p=0.057), muscle mass (p=0.056), and blood levels of transferrin (p=0.009), total amino acids (p=0.019), and essential amino acids (p=0.006) after chemotherapy.

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