An Interdisciplinary Nutrition Support Team Improves Clinical and Hospitalized Outcomes of Esophageal Cancer Patients with Concurrent Chemoradiotherapy


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Abstract

Background:The prevalence of malnutrition is very high in patients with cancer. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether or not a nutrition support team (NST) could benefit esophageal cancer patients undergoing chemoradiotherapy (CRT).Methods:Between June 2012 and April 2014, 50 esophageal cancer patients undergoing concurrent CRT were randomly assigned into two groups: The NST group and the control group. The nutritional statuses of 25 patients in the NST group were managed by the NST. The other 25 patients in the control group underwent the supervision of radiotherapy practitioners. At the end of the CRT, nutritional status, the incidence of complications, and completion rate of radiotherapy were evaluated. Besides, the length of hospital stay (LOS) and the in-patient cost were also compared between these two groups.Results:At the completion of CRF, the nutritional status in the NST group were much better than those in the control group, as evidenced by prealbumin (ALB), transferrin, and ALB parameters (P = 0.001, 0.000, and 0.000, respectively). The complication incidences, including bone marrow suppression (20% vs. 48%, P = 0.037) and complications related infections (12% vs. 44%, P = 0.012), in the NST group were lower and significantly different from the control group. In addition, only one patient in the NST group did not complete the planned radiotherapy while 6 patients in the control group had interrupted or delayed radiotherapy (96% vs. 76%, P = 0.103). Furthermore, the average LOS was decreased by 4.5 days (P = 0.001) and in-patient cost was reduced to 1.26 ± 0.75 thousand US dollars person-times (P > 0.05) in the NST group.Conclusions:A NST could provide positive effects in esophageal cancer patients during concurrent CRT on maintaining their nutrition status and improving the compliance of CRF. Moreover, the NST could be helpful on reducing LOS and in-patient costs.

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