Weight loss, treatment site, age tied to higher mortality in cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy
Weight loss during radiotherapy (RT), site of treatment, and age all contribute to an increased risk of death among cancer patients after the 10-year follow-up, as shown in a prospective study.
“Cancer patients undergoing RT frequently experience weight loss and changes in body composition, which negatively affect their nutritional status, lead to a poor clinical prognosis, and reduce survival rates,” the authors said.
To determine whether changes in body weight, phase angle, and standardized phase angle correlated with longer survival, this prospective cohort study analysed 62 cancer patients who underwent RT between 2008 and 2009 and were followed until 2019.
The authors examined anthropometric and bioelectrical impedance analysis data prior to and following RT. They calculated survival using Kaplan–Meier method and assessed mortality risk using the Cox proportional hazards model.
In Kaplan–Meier analysis, no significant difference was noted in survival time after the 10-year follow-up between patients who had weight loss during RT and those with weight maintenance or weight gain during treatment.
In the adjusted multivariate analysis, age (p=0.023), site of treatment (p=0.001), and weight loss during RT (p=0.044) were associated with mortality risk. For every 1-kg lost, the risk of death increased by 25 percent as compared with weight maintenance or gain during RT.
On the other hand, changes in phase angle and standardized phase angle following RT did not correlate with higher mortality risk.