Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Cancer and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Parenteral nutrition support for patients with pancreatic cancer. Results of a phase II study

Uwe Pelzer1*, Dirk Arnold2, Mehmet Goevercin3, Jens Stieler1, Bernd Doerken1, Hanno Riess1 and Helmut Oettle1

Author Affiliations

1 Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Charité Centrum für Tumormedizin, CONKO - Study Group, Augustenburger Platz 1, Berlin, Germany

2 Universitätsklinikum Halle, Abteilung für Innere Medizin, Ernst-Gruber-Str. 40, Halle, Germany

3 Evangelisches Geriatriezentrum Berlin GmbH, Reinickendorfer Straße 61, Berlin, Germany

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Cancer 2010, 10:86  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-86

Published: 9 March 2010

Abstract

Background

Cachexia is a common problem in patients (pts) suffering from upper gastrointestinal cancer. In addition, most of these patients suffer from malabsorption and stenosis of the gastrointestinal tract due to their illness. Various methods of supplementary nutrition (enteral, parenteral) are practised. In patients with advanced pancreatic cancer (APC), phase angle, determined by bio-electrical impedance analysis (BIA), seems to be a survival predictor. The positive influence of BIA determinate predictors by additional nutrition is currently under discussion.

Methods

To examine the impact of additional parenteral nutrition (APN) we assessed outpatients suffering from APC and progressive cachexia. The assessment based on the BIA method. Assessment parameters were phase angle, ECM/BCM index (ratio of extracellular mass to body cell mass), and BMI (body mass index). Patients suffering from progressive weight loss in spite of additional enteral nutritional support were eligible for the study.

Results

Median treatment duration in 32 pts was 18 [8-35] weeks. Response evaluation showed a benefit in 27 pts (84%) in at least one parameter. 14 pts (43.7%) improved or stabilised in all three parameters. The median ECM/BCM index was 1.7 [1.11-3.14] at start of APN and improved down to 1.5 [1.12-3.36] during therapy. The median BMI increased from 19.7 [14.4-25.9] to 20.5 [15.4-25.0]. The median phase angle improved by 10% from 3.6 [2.3-5.1] to 3.9 [2.2-5.1].

Conclusions

We demonstrated the positive impact of APN on the assessed parameters, first of all the phase angle, and we observed at least a temporary benefit or stabilisation of the nutritional status in the majority of the investigated patients. Based on these findings we are currently investigating the impact of APN on survival in a larger patient cohort.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00919659