PMID: 109184May 1, 1979

Alterations of nutritional status: impact of chemotherapy and radiation therapy

Cancer
S S Donaldson, R A Lenon

Abstract

The nutritional status of a cancer patient may be affected by the tumor, the chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy directed against the tumor, and by complications associated with that therapy. Chemotherapy-radiotherapy is not confined exclusively to malignant cell populations; thus, normal tissues may also be affected by the therapy and may contribute to specific nutritional problems. Impaired nutrition due to anorexia, mucositis, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may be dependent upon the specific chemotherapeutic agent, dose, or schedule utilized. Similar side effects from radiation therapy depend upon the dose, fractionation, and volume irradiated. When combined modality treatment is given the nutritional consequences may be magnified. Prospective, randomized clinical trials are underway to investigate the efficacy of nutritional support during chemotherapy-radiotherapy on tolerance to treatment, complications from treatment, and response rates to treatment. Preliminary results demonstrate that the administration of total parenteral nutrition is successful in maintaining weight during radiation therapy and chemotherapy, but that weight loss occurs after discontinuation of nutritional support. Thus, long-term evaluation is mand...Continue Reading

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Related Concepts

Abdominal Neoplasms
Antineoplastic Agents
Brain Tumor, Recurrent
Gastrointestinal System
Cancer of Neck
Malignant Neoplasms
Malnutrition
Parenteral Nutrition, Total
Pelvic Cancer
Radiation Syndrome

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