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Nutr Cancer. 2000;37(1):36-40.

Prognostic factors in advanced gastrointestinal cancer patients with weight loss.

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  • 1University Department of Surgery, Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, UK. patricia.o'


There are few reports on factors that determine survival in advanced gastrointestinal cancer with weight loss. In these patients (n = 91, median weight loss 16.6%), we prospectively examined the importance of metastatic spread, anthropometry, blood parameters, Karnofsky performance status, appetite, and the acute-phase response as predictors of survival. Survival was calculated from date of assessment to the most recent clinic attendance (> or = 30 mo) or until death. On multivariate analysis, metastatic spread (p < 0.05), Karnofsky performance status (p < 0.01), and C-reactive protein concentration (p < 0.001) had independent prognostic value. In locally advanced disease (n = 64), Karnofsky performance status and C-reactive protein concentration remained significant. There was a significantly lower survival in patients with an acute-phase response (median 136 days) than in patients with no response (median 466 days; p < 0.01). Performance status and the acute-phase response are associated, independent of weight loss, with survival duration in advanced gastrointestinal cancer patients.

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