Poor preoperative nutritional status is associated with a higher complication rate after radical cystectomy in patients with bladder cancer. Given the short interval between diagnosis and radical cystectomy, we compared the effect of short-term specialized immunonutrition to that of a standard oral nutritional supplement on the acute inflammatory response and arginine status in patients treated with radical cystectomy.Materials and Methods:
In this prospective, randomized study in 29 men 14 received specialized immunonutrition and 15 received oral nutritional supplement. Each group drank 3 cartons per day for 5 days before and 5 days after radical cystectomy. The Th1-Th2 balance, plasma interleukin-6 and plasma amino acids were measured at baseline, intraoperatively and on postoperative days 2, 14 and 30. Body composition was measured by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry at baseline and on postoperative days 14 and 30. Differences in outcomes were assessed using the generalized linear mixed model.Results:
In the specialized immunonutrition group there was a 54.3% average increase in the Th1-Th2 balance according to the tumor necrosis factor-α-to-interleukin-13 ratio from baseline to intraoperative day, representing a shift toward a Th1 response. In the oral nutritional supplement group the Th1-Th2 balance decreased 4.8%. The change in the Th1-Th2 balance between the specialized immunonutrition and oral nutritional supplement groups significantly differed (p <0.027). Plasma interleukin-6 was 42.8% lower in the specialized immunonutrition group compared to the oral nutritional supplement group on postoperative day 2 (p = 0.020). In the specialized immunonutrition group plasma arginine was maintained from baseline to postoperative day 2 and yet the oral nutritional supplement group showed a 26.3% reduction from baseline to postoperative day 2 (p = 0.0003). The change in appendicular muscle loss between the groups was not statistically significant.Conclusions:
Th1-to-Th2 ratios, peak interleukin-6 levels and plasma arginine suggest that consuming specialized immunonutrition counteracts the disrupted T-helper balance, lowers the inflammatory response and prevents arginine depletion due to radical cystectomy.